A while ago, by buddy Mark, put me onto a philosophy for professional success called PIE. You can read a little more about it here. I’ve been using that every since to frame my goals around business.
Professional goals are all about becoming better at the technical aspects of what you do. My professional goals for 2021 are really twofold: Become a better coach/teacher and become a better coder. I would probably put more emphasis on the coaching than the coding.
As far as building my coaching/teaching/mentoring skills I plan on continuing to work with my LabVIEW Mastermind group by helping them set some goals this year. I also plan on starting a second group. I’ve already got a few people interested. My goal is 2 groups of 6 people. I also want to refine my workshops. I’m running a Unit Testing one right now in a new format and that is working out well. I am also working on some prerecorded online classes. My goal is to have 4 of them by the end of the year and to have at least 100 sales. Some of them will be standalone but I also want to figure out how to incorporate that into my workshops. Maybe there is some prerecorded content they watch and then the in-person part is a Q/A session or something. I also had one person hire me just as a coach. Just to meet once every week and bounce ideas around. That worked well. I want to find more of that work. My goal is 3 coaching clients by the end of 2021.
As far as being a better coder, a lot of that involves just continuing to learn. A lot of reading and taking courses. I have my reading list which will be the main metric on that. I want to developer a better starting point/baseline for new applications. I want to focus more on repeatable process. So automating more stuff. Particularly configuring environments. Don’t really have a metric for that one. I also want to learn more Python. I feel like that gives me a different perspective. I also feel like it makes me more versatile and more marketable. My goal is one Python book this year (in addition to the list of other books below).
My goals for interpersonal skills this year are really just about growing my network and relationship building. I’ve got the Virtual Coffee going on and that is going really well. I will keep that up for 2021. I will also start back up our local in-person office hours as soon as we are able. As far working with other people directly, there are a few customers and my Mastermind Group. So my goal is to make sure those continue to run smoothly. NO real metric there, maybe I need to add a survey. There’s also the GDevCon NA. Group. We will be more active with that this year. My goal with that is not only to get it off the ground but also to be a good team player and keep a good dynamic there. Again maybe a survey at the end of the year.
My exposure goals this year are all about business development. I need to focus more on hunting rather than gathering and see if I can go out and bring some more sales. That requires going out and meeting new people. I need at least 2 serious leads every month, where I actually submit a proposal.
I also plan on not only boosting engagement with my blog and on social media, but being more targeted about it and leveraging it to try and get to decision makers better. I want to reach 1200 visitors/month to my blog with a views/visit>2. I want to reach 2.4K connections on LinkedIn and 1K followers on Twitter. I plan on running some more targetted ads on LinkedIn with a goal of 4 calls/month with people I have not previously met.
Every year I also come up with reading list. The past couple years I have kind of viewed it as a suggested reading list. Every year I read several of the books on my list but never seem to get to them all. I broke my list this year down into a couple categories: a must read and an honorable mentions. My goal is to read all the must reads and then if I have extra time and energy to try to tackle the honorable mentions.
These are the key work-related books I am committed to reading this year. They are all there for a reason. The first 4 books were all given to me by their authors, so I figure that I owe it to them to read their books. That and they were all on my longterm list of books to read anyway. Peopleware has just been on my list for a while and I’ve heard lot’s of good things about it and it jives with my mantra that all problems are people problems. Fierce Conversations was recommended by a friend of mine. This guy never engages in shallow conversation, it’s always deep and engaging and meaningful. I asked him what his secret was and he recommend this book. The last 3 were recommended to me by people in my Mastermind Group. Those books were already on my list, but I figure they ought to get some priority. I figure it will also make me a better coach in the Mastermind Group if I am reading what they are.
- LabVIEW Graphical Programming
- Introduction to LabVIEW FPGA
- Why Employees are Always a bad idea
- RE-Humanizing the Workplace
- Fierce Conversations
- The Object-Oriented Thought Process
- Extreme Programming Explained
- Working Effectively with Legacy Code
These are just some other work related books that have been on my list, that I would like to read this year, time permitting.
- How to Talk so kids will Listen and Listen so kids will talk
- Joy Inc
- Continuous Integration
- Coaching Agile Teams
- A philosophy of Software Design
- The Mikado Method
- Test Driven Development by Example