Many of them wanted to be doctors, lawyers, mechanics, police officers, firemen and a whole litany of other things.
When I grew up, I wanted to be a cowboy. This was a passion fueled by too many Saturday matinees and Louis L'Amour novels, and who can forget the great Willie Nelson song?
I loved the image of freedom and self sufficiency.
I liked the rough edges, the simple solutions to simple problems, being a loner.
Drift in, fix the town's problems, and ride off into the sunset. (Which is probably why I did so well as a consultant.)
The trouble is... I'm now a CIO leading a team of bright, creative people.
The cowboy image doesn't work for me anymore.
But I keep drifting back to the comfortable zone of self sufficiency. So I wrote this post to remind myself that innovation will never happen to a cowboy, all by himself. Drifters don't achieve big dreams.
Every leader needs to be very self aware, and know the unique parts of their personalities that can have a detrimental dark side. For me, it's my cowboy-ness.
I don't have anything against cowboys, but for me, trying to be one gets in the way.
You can't be a loner, and a leader at the same time.
I need my team, and I need my colleagues, and together we make magic happen.
If you are a kindred spirit who wanted the cowboy life (or still do), have you really hung up your spurs and taken on the role as leader?
If it wasn't the stuff of cowboys... what part of your early dreams gets in the way of your leadership?
By the way... I've kept the boots. They go well with my motorcycle... but that's another story.
CIO, Know Thyself
We are our own worst enemy