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IT Career Development Top 10 Lists

This article applies to: IT Career Framework Resources

Personal and Professional Development Top 10 Lists

Personal development “Top 10”

  1. Practice being accountable; take responsibility for your actions, including your mistakes.
  2. Embrace change.
  3. Seek development opportunities outside of work (volunteer, join professional organizations, help at school).
  4. Be healthy and strive for balance in life so that you can be “fit to lead.”
  5. Be authentic (be yourself)
  6. Value and manage your relationships; avoid burning bridges with people and organizations.
  7. Take risks. Be willing to “fail forward” or try something new.
  8. Figure out what you want. From there, decide what your objectives/goals are. Focus on running toward what you want instead of running away from what you don’t want.
  9. Chunk your goals—don’t eat the whole elephant.
  10. Invest in yourself. Pick up new skills. Take advantage of Cornell resources: free speakers, classes, online training and books (Skillsoft,, HR training and programs. 

Professional development “Top 10”

  1. Let people know what you want and where you want to go. Take charge of your own career.
  2. Realize career development is your responsibility.
  3. Seek out stretch opportunities. Don't wait for assignments and tasks you want to be given to you; ask for them.
  4. Collaborate.
  5. Build and expand your networks.
  6. Challenge yourself by leading at every opportunity. Challenge others and yourself by asking questions. Don't be timid.
  7. Say yes and know when to say no.
  8. Seek and be willing to give feedback
  9. Show up (be at work, be engaged, do your work, be reliable and productive)
  10. Find and/or be a mentor. Coach others.

“Top 10” ways managers can support staff development

  1. Know your staff. Take time to understand what they want. Actively listen. Develop insight into what satisfies each individual.
  2. Demonstrate you value your staff and have confidence in them. Recognition and praise go through the manager, criticism stops at the manager.
  3. Invest in your staff's development: provide opportunities and flexibility, delegate responsibility.
  4. Provide clear, frequent and timely feedback.
  5. Set clear expectations; be honest about what the job entails.
  6. Create a team culture: risk taking, collaboration, continuous learning.
  7. Empower staff. Give them authority to make decisions. Avoid micro managing—provide guidance. Allow staff to take risks and make mistakes. Coach: don't solve the problem for them.
  8. Network so that you know what opportunities are out there for your staff. Avoid thinking in terms of "losing" good staff—think about what is best for IT@Cornell.
  9. Lead by example.
  10. Actively manage work; remove obstacles; be appropriately involved and available. 

"Ted's "Top 10" leadership characteristics

Contributed by Cornell's CIO (2010-2015) Ted Dodds

  1. Ask why and what, before asking how.
  2. Practice Respectful Candor (pt. 1): with those in the room.
  3. Practice Respectful Candor (pt. 2): with those not present.
  4. Abandon the world of judgment, of others and yourself.
  5. Be yourself. Improve yourself. Don’t “fake it ‘till you make it”. You’ll be found out.
  6. My favorite of Covey’s 7 Habits: seek first to understand, then to be understood.
  7. Manage your time strategically. Find time for all Cornellians. Forget the hierarchy.
  8. Read widely – from woodworking to world history – and ask yourself how different perspectives can make you a better leader.
  9. Control is a poor substitute for accountability.
  10. Practice persistence and patience, but mostly persistence.

About this Article

Last updated: 

Friday, December 2, 2016 - 10:42am

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