E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

Leading by Example: Ada Lovelace Day

Gran Canaria - Puerto de MoganI am sure that by now most folks out there would be familiar with what’s about to start happening in a few hours from now in the social software space, specially out there in the blogosphere. Yes, in a few hours we will all be celebrating Ada Lovelace Day! An event I have been waiting for a while now in anticipation, since I signed the pledge a few weeks back! The occasion is very much worth it. However, since tomorrow, March 24th 2009, promises to be a rather hectic day at work, I have decided to share my post today instead, since I may not even have the time at all either!

Thus, "what’s exactly Ada Lovelace Day?", you may be wondering, right? Well, it is "an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology" and since I have got plenty of examples to share I just couldn’t say no to such a lovely initiative. However, not to worry, I am not going to put together a rather lengthy post detailing a few examples of women who have been more than an inspiration for yours truly for a big part of his work life. Instead, I am just going to stick with one I have been admiring all along since I first met her, nearly two years ago!

Yes, go and meet Gina Poole! She used to be my boss, now she is my boss’ boss. Yet, nothing has changed! If there is a single word I can use to describe her, VP, Social Software at IBM as well as VP, Social Software & Web Marketing, it would be approachable! Indeed! When she got started with leading one of the most impressive social software adoption programs inside IBM, (The one I am working for at the moment heh 😉 ) her presence in the social software space was rather scarce. But that changed soon afterwards.

The fact she is one of IBM’s executives didn’t stop her from leading the way, and leading the way by what really matters in this social computing space: leading by example! Soon afterwards she started an internal blog, continued to use social bookmarking sites like Dogear, share important files through file sharing applications like Cattail (Bless her for avoiding to blow away my Inbox!), make extensive use of Enterprise 2.0 tools suites like Lotus Connections, behind the firewall, as well as social networking sites available outside like Slideshare or Twitter.

She gets it! She always has! But that’s not all of it that I admire in her, and this is really what makes her part of Ada Lovelace Day. It may not well be that she is too technical, probably she never meant to be, but, as far as I can tell, she makes an amazing executive / manager treating her people like what they are: people, which I know for sure it is getting very rare nowadays to see and experience such thing …

Yes, I know. I am lucky! Very lucky, if I may add. But even then what I admire the most in her is not only how approachable, flexible, committed, involved, engaging, resourceful she is for her daily job and that of her entire team(s), but more how she perseveres till the end in achieving a goal! Even if that goal means leading the social software revolution at IBM or such other mundane tasks such as helping me land in my dream job! Most of you folks out there know about how long it took me to get there, but I eventually made it, indeed! And all of that thanks to her perseverance and that of a couple of other folks!

That’s why to me, my Ada Lovelace Day is going to go to who I consider the new "Manager" of the 21st century. Yes, that Manager 2.0 that another female role model shared not long ago: Kathy Sierra. Talking about true inspiration, right?

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5 comments

    1. Hi Paul! Many thanks for dropping by and for the kind feedback! Glad you enjoyed the blog post! It brought plenty of good memories all along as I was putting it together, since it allowed me to include links to other female role models I admire from the IT world. Just wonderful experience! 🙂

  1. Luis!
    What shall I say!! Whew! Absolutely stunned, humbled and honored to know that I’ve contributed in some way to your work life! 🙂 It may take me a while to start believing that I have added to the experience of a completely enthusiastic and extremely knowledgeable person like you! I don’t probably know even half of what you know! :-))
    Anyway, really happy to see your link to my blog and many thanks!
    Regards
    Nimmy

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