One of my favorite TV series – that ran for a short four years on NBC was The Pretender. Wikipedia describes the lead character, Jarod, as a genius impostor able to quickly master the complex skill sets necessary to impersonate a member of any profession. What intrigued me so much was his ability to take on any profession and do a decent job at it. He faked it and made it. Over and over again.

What was so intriguing about him? Honestly ….

I probably saw a little bit of myself in him.

While I was on the preordained Silicon Valley technology treadmill, going from company to company seeking title, compensation and respect, the parallel with “The Pretender” (that I realize now) was that I was able to don the garb of each of the company I was employed with pretty successfully. The company’s mission, vision, and strategy, I assumed as my own! Why we have the fastest mobile infrastructure on the planet – #done, Let me tell you why software networking is the disruption you have been waiting for – #bringiton, Wake up Mr. Customer – your #1 source of risk is the Virtual Infrastructure Admin – #letmeteachyou ….

Every company I worked for. Rinse and repeat. Until I started noticing the dissonance I had was when I left a company, since I had to start faking it all over again. Learn the ropes (which I loved BTW), but then I had to become Mr. Pretender all over again. Assume a new persona and solving a new #1 problem that only we could solve – and fake it enough to inspire myself and my team about the mission, vision and strategy.

Published on Thrive Global on June 29th, 2019. Read the full article here.