Podcast Appearance: Develop Great Managers

I’ve been on a few podcasts in the past couple of years, though pretty much all of them have been very tech-focused (shocking, right?). vSpeaking a few times, Pure Report, PowerScripting. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure to do a guest spot on a different type of podcast hosted by my friend Dale Ferrario. Dale is “retired” now (I use quotes because he is busier in retirement than most people I know who are in the height of their careers). He used to be a VP at VMware–in a variety of roles, most recently on the VVD team then GSS until retirement. Interestingly, my connection to him is not VMware believe it or not. His son, Anthony Lai-Ferrario is my wife’s sister’s husband. Anthony is also currently a Product Manager at Pure Storage (he manages things like vVols, PSO, and other Purity features).

All of us spend a great deal of time together (dinners, weekend trips, holidays), so suffice to say this interview with Dale was not the first time we spoke.

Anywho, Dale has a podcast called Develop Great Managers which he started just after his retirement. It was one of the first podcasts I listed to regularly and is what inspired me to start listening to other ones.

Dale set out with a goal to use his experience, and the experience of his contacts to help others become, well great(er) managers. When I first listened to his podcast, I secretly wanted to be a guest on it, but alas I wasn’t even a manager, so it was not to be. As luck would have it, about 6 months ago I became a manager at Pure Storage. Furthermore, Dale was looking to interview a less experienced manager on his show, as many of his guests were VERY experienced managers (Pat Gelsinger for instance). So it was time a a slightly different perspective, one that might be more closely related to listeners who were just starting out as managers. So Dale invited me on.

We talked about a few things, I won’t spoil it all, but included:

  • How I got into IT in the first place
  • The importance of mentors
  • Survivorship bias which I think people overlook A LOT
  • Privilege. I had a lot of it, unfortunately most don’t. Being a white dude in tech or well life comes with that which is something that we are all responsible for changing–especially (primarily rather) white dudes in tech. Pay it forward. Mentor. Open doors. It makes us all better.
  • Challenges in being a new manager and how it changes my responsibilities.
  • And how working at Hollywood Video got me where I am today (aka a perfect example of survivorship bias–working at a video store today is not a good career move)

Check out the episode here:

While I am on the topic of podcasts here are my current go-to:

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