On this episode of the Humans of DevOps, Jason Baum is joined by Dan Roberts, CEO and president of Ouellette & Associates Consulting, host of the CIO Whisperers podcast, author and speaker. They discuss qualities of great leaders, the “HEAR” model and listening, Nelson Mandela plus way more!
Dan Roberts has mentored, studied and partnered with thousands of CIOs and technology leaders for more than 3 decades. His firm coined the term “Developing the Human Side of Technology” in 1984 when technology and technologists hid safely behind glass walls. Fast forward to the here and now and Dan believes there has never been a better time to be in the IT profession. He has dedicated his career to ensuring leaders and team members have the new mindsets, skill sets and tools necessary to differentiate and elevate the IT narrative.
As a student of leadership, Dan writes and speaks about the common traits of the top game-changing leaders in our profession. He notes how these difference makers are not distracted by the bright shiny objects, cut through the noise of the day and have a laser focus on what he refers to as the 7C’s of top leaders: customer obsession, culture, cultivate, courage, change, collaboration & communication.
Dan is considered one of the most connected executives in the CIO arena and is passionate about connecting great people with great ideas. CIOs appreciate his ability to energize, challenge their thinking and build and sustain a world-class IT culture and future-ready workforce.
Want access to more content like this? Gain the tools, resources and knowledge to help your organization adapt and respond to challenges by becoming a professional member of DevOps Institute. Engage in one of the fastest-growing DevOps communities today! Get started for free: https://www.devopsinstitute.com/membership/
Use promo code HODPOD21 at this link for 20% off your Premium Membership.
Find a lightly edited transcript below.
You’re listening to the humans of DevOps podcast, a podcast focused on advancing the humans of DevOps through skills, knowledge, ideas and learning, or the SK il framework.
Dan Roberts 00:16
I think the best leaders are closet learners like daily. And part of that is humility by having the humility to say, I don’t know at all. In fact, I know less than everybody else in the room. And so I’m going to learn from everybody always asking questions, always learning.
Jason Baum 00:33
Hey, everyone, it’s Jason Baum, Director of membership at DevOps Institute. And this is the humans of DevOps podcast. Welcome back. It’s great to have you. And on today’s episode, I’m very excited to be speaking to my guest, Dan Roberts. Dan is considered to be one of the best connected thought leaders in the CIO space has a passion for bringing CIOs together to learn and benefit from one another’s experience. And each year he works and meets with more than 1000 CIOs and IT leaders across the globe. As CEO and President of Willette, and Associates consulting, Dan leads the firm that he’s been known since 1984, for developing the human side of technology, which of course speaks right to us. His team has helped more than 3500 IT organizations build a world class culture, a high performing workforce and a differentiated talent brand. Dan’s the host of CIO whispers podcast, and writes the CIO whisper blog for cio.com. These platforms feature leadership philosophies, teachings of the best CXO leaders of our time, and through his podcast Dan’s demonstrating his Tech for Good commitments by donating more than $100,000 in scholarships to develop future ready IT leaders in nonprofits, a keynote speaker and panel moderator at numerous industry conferences and corporate events. Dan’s an author contributing author of numerous books, his two latest unleashing the power of it and Confessions of a successful CIO. Were on Amazon’s list of top rated books for months and are being leveraged by IT leadership teams as a model for moving it up the maturity curve. Dan’s been married to his wife, Denise for 36 years, is the proud dad of Christina, a doctor on the Big Island of Hawaii lucky lucky Christina and Kelly, a retired Army Ranger who is now pursuing his passions as a real estate investor, Dan and Denise are enjoying their latest roles as pot and Mimi to their two beautiful granddaughters. Congratulations on that, Dan, and welcome to the humans of DevOps podcast.
Dan Roberts 02:37
Oh my gosh, so good to be with you, Jason. Thank you. And, you know, on behalf of all of us who get to enjoy your show, we appreciate it right. I mean, right now more than ever, we need to be smarter, we need to be equipped, we need to be inspired. And the show’s doing that. So thank you for doing that. Jason.
Jason Baum 02:56
Thank you, Dan. I really appreciate you saying that and, and thank you for everything you’re doing and you’re doing you know that with your with your CIO whispers podcast, which I know we’re gonna jump into a little bit later in the show. But you know, I think the one thing that the shows have in common is that we’re we are getting human, we are learning about human qualities, what we used to call soft skills. Now we are calling human skills is so important, right in building the character of who is leading who is who’s running the ship here, Who Who are these individuals behind the scenes, everybody could throw up a PowerPoint, you could search PowerPoint Online, but when you get into the nitty gritty of who the person is, I think that’s the the takeaway. That’s the that’s the piece that I think we can all learn from. And I think that’s the thing that that our two podcasts definitely share.
Dan Roberts 03:47
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And that’s the differentiator today, right? We’ve gotten a lot of research, we’ll probably get into it. But that’s what allows us to show up different to have greater impact to be more relevant. And you know, Jason, a lot people don’t know this, but in 1984, the term developing the human side of technology was coined by our company and it was like, decades before, it was cool before we knew there were humans and, and, and now we, you know, we’re still working on that to, to really bring that home. But no, I love that. I gotta be honest with you. It’s a little odd being on this side of the camera right beside the microphone, so it’s like, I might try to turn it on you today. Jase. I don’t know. We’ll see what happens. Hey,
Jason Baum 04:28
no problem that happened to me last week with our with our guests, Stephen deck. He had a we had a great conversation about you know, leading as an introvert and I shared that I am a reluctant extrovert. And I think that it is so interesting being on the other side. And yeah, I think we do get a little uncomfortable. And it’s it’s, I don’t know, it’s it’s odd because you would think leading this side of the conversation that you would be okay with the other side, but it’s just different. It’s just different, right? Yeah.
Dan Roberts 04:57
Great. That was a great episode. By the way. I really appreciate it. his perspectives on on thing so well, you know, well done. And he did he flipped on a couple of times. But that was pretty funny.
Jason Baum 05:06
He did he was a great guest. Yeah, and thank you for listening. So, alright, so let’s jump in on you, you know, the first thing you know, we’ll get into the topics, you know, like leadership, the seven seas of leadership that you cover and, and get a little more more in depth but we learned about the individual on this podcast. So let’s learn about you. Let’s go back in time, and maybe you could tell us a little bit about yourself. And how did you end up here?
Dan Roberts 05:33
Yeah, yeah, very, very interesting question. And, you know, I’m old. So I’ve been around a long time. So going way back. Like, that’s hard for me, Jason. But, you know, we all we all get framed early, right, we all get shaped early. And I, you know, preparing for this made me think about this a lot in terms of, you know, how in how do you get here? How do you get how do you get shaped early on, and I think back to sports, obviously, a lot of us had that ability, young playing sports, I think a school right, we all had to do the proverbial K through 12. And then, you know, college and beyond. And then work, you know, I, I was fortunate. And I say that to grow up at a time in a place where I mean, literally at age 12, we got jobs, I mean, you could do that back then. Right, you could actually go and, and I remember my first job, I remember, you know, the work and just enjoying it so much. And, quite frankly, I think we kind of wrecked our kids, you know, we tried to make the world better for our kids. And we didn’t, they didn’t do those kinds of things. But that’s what I think about, you know, Jason going, going back to those days, and just learning, you know, as far I remember learning the value of, you know, the correlation between hard work and results, right, you know, put the effort in, put the extra time in, and you get the added benefit. And then, over time, just realizing, hey, you know, I’m really not that smart in school, and I’m really not the best athlete. But I think I can outwork everybody. And I can actually be better than them by by Grit by just working out, you know, working harder than they do. So those are some initial thoughts. So it’s
Jason Baum 07:06
interesting that you bring him up sports because I played sports. When I was a kid, I wasn’t the biggest I wasn’t the strongest, but you know, I practiced a whole lot. I played basketball. I’m only six foot. So, you know, that lasted for so long? until high school. And then I was like, what, who had? Where are we growing these kids? What incubator that I missed out on. But, but it’s interesting, because I think sports is a great example. For where, where a lot of leadership qualities come from? And so maybe you could talk a little bit about that, and what you glean from from your experience with sports?
Dan Roberts 07:42
Yeah, you know, there’s, there’s obviously we think about sports, we think about the skills we think about the physical part of it, I think we forget a lot about the mental aspects that we learn, right? And, and if you think about Fast forward to 2020 2021 the mental aspects of what we do now, right, and just how hard things can be if you don’t have that mental resilience. And so, you know, really appreciate bill to draw back on those things. Because let’s face it, it’s not an easy time to be in our profession, just to be in just in general are busy, busy worlds are busy families. And so, you know, I think I just look back on those times. And obviously, team you learn team, you learn that, you know, what’s the expression Jason, you can go faster by yourself, you go farther as a team, right? And, you know, once you get that you start to realize, well, it’s something I can use all the way through my, my career now my company and so forth. But yeah, no, those those sports those sports learnings are huge.
Jason Baum 08:49
Yeah, and I think for me when I think of sports, it’s you know, I played point guard in basketball, and what’s the job of a point guard selflessness you know, you got you have to think about things holistically and you have to include everyone and I think that for me when I look back it’s it’s always interesting what you kind of learn about yourself right when through your guests sometimes. You know for me it’s funny because I think some of those characteristics just stick with you over time that you learn through sports.
Dan Roberts 09:22
Well, your point guard was the like the quarterback right you kind of you know you saw the whole floor you kind of assess the situation and yeah, I always I always a shooting guards I always the guy wanting you to pass me the ball so I could I could hook it up there. No, I’m just kidding. But I always in soccer, I was the goalie and I was the goalie on a bad team and what you learn about that is kind of the quarterback but you’ve also got to be a little insane because you know it’s trying to kill you you know kick the ball in your face and and all that but no good good times good memories and and yeah, good to hear your your background there to playing
Jason Baum 09:57
should be shooting guard by the way because you always mix it up. Right, one of the things that I had to learn was take the shot. Take the shot. And that’s actually pretty powerful because someone who was trained to give give up the ball, right? Sometimes you have to take the shot. And it’s okay to take a risk. Wow.
Dan Roberts 10:17
You know, Jason, I’ve been having this conversation with a lot of CIOs and leaders lately. And it’s, it’s amazing. Oh, Gretzky was the one who had the quote, right, I missed every shot I didn’t take. And you think about great quote, isn’t a great quote, you know, and you think about today, the idea of answering the call every great leader, has those answer the call moments that that stretch project that, that, that new opportunity, and when that call comes, do you do us the call with a yes. Do you take the shot? And I did some research on this, Jason and maybe I’ll just share it because it’s fascinating. We, as humans back to the human, we have 65 to 75,000 thoughts a day. Okay. And of those 85 to 90% or negative? Is that my blog?
Jason Baum 11:10
That’s a mind blowing stat.
Dan Roberts 11:11
It’s my blog. Right? So you get the bullseye portion, it is the boogeyman in the head, right? Yeah. And all those thoughts are saying, don’t take the shot. You know, play it safe, don’t take the risk. And, you know, I just challenged leaders today, like you just said early, got it, got to take the shot, got to take the shot, if you miss it, whatever. But, you know, it gets into courage, right? It gets into, you know, you know, how do we how to make those tough calls, how do we even we don’t have the right information, enough information, the clarity is not there. But have the courage to take the shot.
Jason Baum 11:50
Yeah. And that goes back to kind of like what you’re saying the toughness, the grit, the mental toughness that you learned early and be having to work your way through college. And, you know, so so let’s get into a little bit. You know, we learned a little bit about who the foundation of who you are right. Take us to now today, and your work with leaders. I would love to learn more about those seven C’s of leadership, as you call them, because it because that’s, that’s really interesting. And you talk to what is it one over 1000 cios a year? That’s impressive. So So what have you gleaned from them? And maybe, let me think of this question, because I think it’s what have you learned from them that that is a positive takeaway, and what have you learned potentially as a negative that people could learn from? Hmm,
Dan Roberts 12:47
yeah. So that’s a that’s an amazing question. Because, you know, I, I spend my time listening, I spend my time asking questions, and really studying these amazing leaders, and I get to see those who are thriving, and are just crushing it every day. And I see those who are struggling. Right. And I think there are certain things that they’re doing today. You know, certainly, actually, actually, it’s, you know, things like care, like the best leaders today are demonstrating care for their people. And, you know, I think it’s Roosevelt, Roosevelt had the quote, people don’t care what you know, until they know that you care. And, and I think that’s a big thing today, because people are, are hurting right now. I think the best leaders are constant learners, like daily learning, like listening, learning, studying every day. And part of that is humility, right? Having the humility to say, I don’t know at all, in fact, I know less than everybody else in the room. And so I’m going to learn from everybody. And so they’re always asking questions, always learning. They have great empathy. You know, the best leaders today demonstrate empathy. And they do that in many different ways. But they really do that with all their different stakeholders. You know, they bring they bring that resilience to the table, and they bring that confidence. And, you know, the best leaders today, Jason puts you inside the cathedral before the first brick is laid, right? You’re building something new, you’re going this this journey, this initiative, it’s big and hairy and audacious and scary and success is unsure and, and but they put you in that Cathedral before the first brick is laid, and I think those are some of the trades that I see from the best, the best leader says that makes sense like it
Jason Baum 14:39
does and especially because I think that first one, by the way, or Well, the first one and the third one that you mentioned caring and empathy. I think that there is such a need right now to build a culture that is a nurturing culture, because I think that we are dealing with issues And we’re more outward with, I guess, issues that are coming up in the workforce, that that are focused on, you know, mental illness is is really coming to light. And it’s not even mental illness. It’s just things that we are all dealing with on a daily basis. I mean, think about the pandemic, I think we’re all dealing with something on some level with regards to it, no matter your mental toughness, we are all dealing with something and it’s part of being mental toughness, admitting right, that there’s issues that are going on. We talked a little bit about it last week with Steven Dick, and, and being able to listen. And, and people are telling us that life is tough right now. For many, many, many reasons. And I think that good leaders listen to, to their employees, they listen to each other. And they say, how can we build a culture that is empathetic? And where we can foster? You know that that? What am I trying to say? foster an environment that’s open? Where we can say these things? We had long a Ford on the podcast she was mentioning about in government culture, and in government, you’re not allowed to talk about those things. Hmm. And that’s interesting. So yeah, I mean, I it does make sense to me.
Are you looking to get DevOps certified? Demonstrate your DevOps knowledge and advance your career with a certification from DevOps Institute, get certified in DevOps leader, SRE or dev SEC ops, just to name a few, learn anywhere, anytime, the choice is yours. Choose to get certified through our vast partner network self study programs, or our new skill of elearning videos. The exams are developed in collaboration with industry, thought leaders, and subject matter experts in the DevOps space, Learn more at DevOps institute.com/certificationsyouknowwhenwewewakeupjumpoutofbedinthemorningespeciallyastechnologyleadersyouknowand,
Dan Roberts 17:02
we’re going to work and that might be down the hallway or, you know, to an office, but what do we think we’re going to go do that day in terms of the real work? You know, we think in the real work is the technical stuff, the stuff in our comfort zone, the stuff that we migrate to? But as leaders, especially people, leaders, do we see the humans back to your initial point? Do we see the people as, as the work today? And and you’ll say, I can hear people now, Jason, you know, your audience? I don’t have time, you know, it’s the people and, and, and why is it we always have the time to replace those people when they leave us? Because people leave bosses, right, they is really what’s happens. And so I mean, today, you know, you don’t compete on compensation, competing culture, you know, the nurturing culture. And, you know, if I might, you mentioned the listening aspects, and I love what you and Steven talked about in your last episode, they get some really good points there. If I could, I’ve got some other perspectives, and I’d love to share with you. Yeah, we’d love to hear. You know, we, we think so often about communication, we think more about the speaking side and so important, right, because we got to get our message across, but we forget about the, the, the listening side, the other side of the equation. And, you know, God gave us two ears and one mile for a reason, right. And I believe that, to me, the best meeting is when we are listening two thirds of the time, and speaking 1/3. And for me, the best meaning is I’m listening for the first two thirds, that I’m not speaking until the last third. And now I understand what makes that person tick. What’s there with them, you know, what’s in it for me what their hot buttons are, what matters to them. And I can wrap my, whatever I’m talking about, I can wrap it around what what they care about. And and so I think it’s so important that we equip ourselves with that mindset, ask questions, ask good questions, people will answer if you ask good questions, right. And, you know, let me ask you, Jason, think about the people in your life, right people that, you know,
Jason Baum 19:19
you’re turning it on me, Dan, I’m doing.
Dan Roberts 19:23
So think about work, personal, whatever. But people are good listeners. Okay, just think for a second and the dog doesn’t count. So take the dog off the table. But think about, you know, maybe two or three people. So let me ask you a couple questions. Jason. Do you do you like those people?
Jason Baum 19:40
who listen to me who listen, we’re good listeners? Absolutely.
Dan Roberts 19:44
Do you trust them? Absolutely. They are they credible? Yeah. Why would you want to run your team?
Jason Baum 19:50
Dan Roberts 19:52
Yeah. And so, you know, we’ve got to think about that because that impacts how we’re showing up and impacts how we’re being perceived by others. Just like the way you described it, and people don’t think about it, but great listeners, I’m gonna flip it around now, or listen to, right. So if you want to, if you want to show up higher up that stack if you want to be more of that strategic partner and not the order taker, right, you know, good listeners build that credibility. And, and just one more quick thing. We’ve been teaching this for 30 years, this simple, simple tool, and I hope your folks will use it called the hero model, H E AR. And simply stands for H stands for here. E stands for empathize back to empathy you talked about before. A stands for analyze. And R stands for respond. It’s like a little simple model, right? You’re going through the situation, we hear we empathize, we analyze, respond. Now, I’m going to ask everybody listen to the show. What do you do beyond this? Now? You go from H to R. Right? And you’re really smart in your responses, right? And let me tell you, right now, the person on the other side of the phone or the other side of the table on the other side of the Zoom meeting, is they’re saying, You didn’t hear a word I said,
Jason Baum 21:07
you know, Dan, what way can I do this a lot sometimes, but I think about parenting, because I’m right in the thick of it, I got a I got a soon to be four year old daughter, okay. And, and I know you’re and you’re your new grandparent, and so you’ve been through it. But I think so many of these skills are really the same as the skills that you need, or should have, as a parent, right? One thing that I believe, and this could be part of empathy, but might be missing from that your model is the validation piece. And maybe that is the empathy. But I think it truly has to maybe go the extra step and actually validate, because, and it’s something I’m learning right now, and it’s really hard to do, right, especially when you my daughter will tell me something I know it’s not true. Like it’s 100 Most pretty much 99% of what it’s saying or is not true. But they’re learning. You know, they don’t know it’s not true. It’s not like they’re going out of their way to like lie. But but it’s just not steeped in fact. But if we validate, and then maybe talk about maybe why it’s not true. And teach, they’re more likely to listen. So it’s I’m just showing, I’m listening to you, I hear you, I validate what you’re saying to you. It’s true. Hmm, let’s take that next step. I think that’s the piece that if we could do as leaders is validate, sometimes that you’re able to move on faster. Get to that next step, get to that teaching moment.
Dan Roberts 22:43
Yeah, yeah. You know, parenting is not an easy thing. Good is not a thing. grandparenting is so much cooler, right? I mean, if I know it was this much fun. I already done it first, right is that is the joke. So my mom always says it’s awesome. It’s awesome.
Jason Baum 22:57
I try not to take offense by the way.
Dan Roberts 23:01
You know, I look back when I was at my best as a parent and you’re, you know, even now with Kisan 30s, there’s you’re still parenting. And I think when I’m at my best as a leader, I’m not giving answers. I’m asking questions. And I’m helping them get to the answer. Now four year olds, that’s that’s that’s a little trickier. But I just had someone on a panel. Jason Alford, anak Bari, he’s the Chief Human Resource Officer for a healthcare organization out of Boston. And his mentor, I asked this question I said, Who’s your best mentor? I kid you not. His mentor was Nelson Mandela. Seriously, wow. Long story behind it. Alford was sent he at one point he worked at McDonald’s they sent him to South Africa to open up McDonald’s in South Africa. You should get him on the show. He’s an amazing human being. And and Nelson Mandela he had to meet with to get the blessing, get the support. And over time they became close friends and he still close friends with Nelson’s family today and and
Jason Baum 24:07
was Nelson going to McDonald’s. I bet he was yeah, that’s what I want to know that. Absolutely. That’s kind of cool.
Dan Roberts 24:14
And I’d say well, how would you mentor Yoni, and he would say he would never give me an answer. He would say it he does the accent because he’s from Nigeria himself. Alfred, he would say he would say Nelson would say, young man, you’re not thinking enough. Young man, you’re responding. You’re not thinking. And he would just keep asking him questions. And he said this could go on for weeks. That was painful. But looking back, you know, the, you know, the learning sometimes, you know, it’s in the struggle. And for a parent, the students watching your kids go through the struggle or as a leader watching your team go through the struggle, but it’s good. You know, it’s good. That’s where the learning really happens.
Jason Baum 24:57
And when it clicks, it’s like magic. It It’s like magic. And it’s that’s the hardest part is the patience. And I think maybe it’s the patience for the leader patience for the parent, right? My gosh, are they my kid is teaching me about patience. But it’s amazing to see too because like, you want to rush, you want to rush you want to get there that’s, like, ingrained in us. And it is like with with my daughter, I’m I’m like, sometimes I’ll ask a question, and I’ll get a response. And then I’m like, Did you hear me? Yeah, I’m just trying to think of, like, I like she’s trying to think of what to say. And it’s and we don’t give them necessarily that time to respond. And and it’s the same thing with leadership, and maybe your team. And maybe we just all need to be a little more patient. And and let that response come and not just jump to, to saying something to filling that that void. Sometimes what we need to do
Dan Roberts 25:49
so good, you know, that’s it, you’re learning? Well, I’m going to call small p patients. You know, luckily, there are four before they’re 13. Before they’re 14, because then you’re gonna learn big P patients. And let me just give you a forewarning. And but the other thing I’ll share with you just, you know, between you and I personally, when they’re teenagers, 99% of the stupid things they say, never come to fruition. So don’t get too too crazy about all the stupidity they come up with. You got to just pay attention. But a lot of it just goes by the wayside,
Jason Baum 26:19
I might need to be calling you.
Dan Roberts 26:21
I’ll be there for you, buddy. I’m sorry.
Jason Baum 26:22
Right. So what else is another quality of leaders that you think people could really be taking away from from listening to this podcast, but maybe one more big, big skill. And by the way, those soft skills that we used to call soft skills, which we now call human skills we talked about on this program, I think are more important these days than ever. And maybe they were always important, but I’m glad that we’re finally talking about them and giving them enough credence because they are just as important as the other skills you’re learning.
Dan Roberts 26:54
You know, all the research supports everything you just said. In fact, we did our own research with Babson College a year long study 130 CIOs, and we looked at we studied those who show up as what we call stage three strategic partners, trusted advisors in stage four in the journey is becoming that innovative anticipator, right, where you’re driving them in your driving, you know, a new way of doing business orchestrating a new customer experience. So those high performers, and when we double clicked on those to figure out what was unique. There was only one common denominator across those organizations, Jason, and it was a set of we call them core competencies that separate them out of 15. Guess how many fifth of the 15 core competencies were technical?
Jason Baum 27:43
Let me guess none. That’s
Dan Roberts 27:45
really close. Just one. Just one. Yeah. One out of 15. Yeah. And so to be successful today to be differentiated, to separate your separate yourself. It’s things like, client, customer focus, its business acumen, it’s collaboration, it’s communication. We’ve already talked about that. A big one for me, Jason, and I think this really separates CIOs all the way down his influence, you know, our ability to influence the conversation. You know, in the technology space, we hear a lot of bad ideas, right. And historically, we’ve done two things really badly. And we’re trying to teach people a third way to go, you know, one thing is, when you hear a bad idea, you know, that baby’s ugly, this is not a direction we should be going. So you pull out the hair model, right? You hear you empathize, you analyze, and you respond. But you know, when you’re going through that process, you know, you are responding sometimes with Yes, you know, bad idea. Yes, I want to be seen like a partner, I want to be responsive. And you say yes to dumb stuff. Well, you know where that gets us. And that’s just a recipe for disaster. The second thing we do, we hear the bad idea? And we say no, it sounds like No, feels like No, and we find ourselves in the fifth meeting next time, not the first meeting. You know, let’s not bring these guys in until they can’t say no, and shut us down. You know, and the third the third way, what we’re trying to teach is, how do you steer the conversation? How do you influence the conversation, even though you don’t have direct control or power, but you steer it in a positive direction. And now everyone wins. And now they want you in the first meeting because they know you’re a strategic partner, you’re an advisor, you’re going to help us make the right the right call. So I think those those again, no longer the soft skills, these are become the core the essential things that really differentiate us and you know, I think another thing that I find is you asking the questions, this whole notion of the best leaders that we go back to answer the call, right that’s, that’s that’s one of them. Another one is barbershops. You ever heard that expression before? I
Jason Baum 29:50
have not tell me about that one.
Dan Roberts 29:52
Hernan Cortes 16th century Conquistador. I like to tell the stories I like to say Conquistador. Just sounds great. Right, he
Jason Baum 30:00
you say it very well, I would, I would butcher it. So
Dan Roberts 30:04
he lands and we now call Mexico and everyone before had failed, in other words killed. And so he lands there 600 soldiers, there’s 5 million Aztecs that bad. I mean to be a math major No, that’s that’s a bad number, right. And so he was the one he unloads the 600. And he was the one who was known for saying, burn the ships. And all of a sudden, 600 people got really focused on the mission. There was no one foot in one foot out, hey, I can still see the boats, we can always go back. Now everyone got really focused on the mission. And Jason as I studied the best CIOs, the best CXOs, the best leaders, and when they’re taking people on this journey, there’s always a burn the ship moments, right, we got to show people that we’re going ahead, we’re not going to sit here, we can’t go back. And it you know, it almost sounds harsh. But actually, I think it really comes back to that care and empathy and nurturing because we’re not going to succeed. If we’re not all in. It’s too hard today, right? The hill is too high. And we’ve got to do together. So I know if that resonates or not. But I found that’s a common denominator of the best leaders as they lead change.
Jason Baum 31:19
And I love it, because it takes us right back to the beginning of our conversation and sports. And, and the the notion of team and it’s we can’t do it as a single we got to do it together. So I love that to tie things up. And this has been a really great conversation. Dan, I know we could keep this going. And we probably should we should probably resume this at some point. Please come back on the show or, you know, we will definitely keep keep the conversation going. So I’m going to ask you one last question. It’s the question I reserved for the end. So you say your listeners so you might be prepared for it. So what is one unique thing about you that nobody knows professionally?
Dan Roberts 32:05
Yeah, yeah, I did prepare. And Jason, I would be honored to come back. I again, love what you’re doing. And and what a great time to be in this profession. Right? I mean, it really, it really is so. So you know, one thing that people don’t know about me is, up until about seven or eight years ago, I was not a speaker, I was I always somebody, you know that what’s the stat at like, 72% of people, you know, would rather die than speak in public. Right. And I think there’s probably a lot of people listening to you. They’re like, yeah, I get it, I get it. And, and I would turn it back on them and say so if you’re at a funeral, that means you’d rather be in the box than giving the eulogy. Right. So let’s, let’s even get over that, that fear. So, you know, I actually got kind of coerce force pressured into getting out there and doing it. And I did it a couple times. I went back to my early days, the sports and, and whatnot, I prepared I probably over prepared. And, and, you know, probably, that’s probably 1000 presentations ago, right? I do this a lot now. And I would just say to people, it’s so important today, for us to be better communicators to put ourselves out there. Great listeners, yes. But but get out there and tell your story, tell the story of it. What’s the are the possible? How do we paint the picture of how we can be disruptive in our industry. And I think that’s how that’s our time, right? It’s our opportunity now to jump out there. And really take that lead so. So that’s, that’s one thing. And if I can do that, I guarantee you, anybody can do that. Jason, I love
Jason Baum 33:39
that. And it goes back again to the purpose of this show, and what we’re all about, and it’s learning about each other on a personal human level, so that we can all take those qualities apply it to ourselves and and grow together. And, and thank you so much, Dan, for being on the show. appreciate you sharing, getting human and then sharing, you know, your experience and talking to CIOs and learning those leadership qualities, I think we can all use them on a day to day basis. Forget just being leaders in in business. It’s it’s being leaders in life. So I really appreciate your sharing those.
Dan Roberts 34:14
And as parents to Jason, good luck with that four year old.
Jason Baum 34:17
Yeah, thank you. Thank you, I need it. And thank you again, everyone for listening to this episode of humans of DevOps Podcast. I’m going to end this episode The way I always do, encouraging you to become a premium member of DevOps Institute to get access to even more great resources just like this one. Until next time, stay safe, stay healthy, and most of all, stay human, live long and prosper.
Thanks for listening to this episode of the humans of DevOps podcast. Don’t forget to join our global community to get access to even more great resources like this. Until next time, remember, you are part of something bigger than yourself. You belong