During the latest episode of the Transform IT show, Patty Hatter, Sr. VP of Operations and CIO at McAfee, challenged us to take what I called, “the curvy path.” To be unafraid of having a career path that doesn’t look like a straight line. But the curvy path can be scary, right? The trick is in how you approach it.

 

Wasn't it fun to hang out with Patty? What I love about her is that she is a no-nonsense, get-it-done executive who makes big things happen. But she also refuses to accept the status quo, is easy to talk to and she’s just a lot of fun to be with. What a powerful combination.

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And as I was talking to her, I couldn’t help but think that her own “curvy path” is a lot of the reason why.


As she explained during the interview, she is able to relate to all of her counterparts because she has been in their shoes, at least in part, at different times in her career. I think that kind of depth and breadth of experience gives you an inner confidence that allows you to drop your guard a bit. I think that inner confidence - and the easy manner it engenders - came through loud and clear when I was talking with Patty.

 

So her challenge to each of us was to be unafraid of our own curvy path. To be willing to step off the safe, straight and narrow career path that most of us have been on, and to be willing to try something completely new and different.

 

It’s scary. It’s risky. But it’s what will give you the depth of experience that you need to have that kind of inner confidence in almost any situation.

 

So how will you step off the safety of the straight path and seek out the less direct, but much more interesting path that will lead you forward? It may be an uncertain future, but by embracing the uncertainty and becoming an intellectual and experiential explorer, you can prepare yourself for whatever that future may hold.

 

So what will it be? What will be your first step off the straight, safe path onto your own “curvy path”?

 

Share that first step with us in the comments below or via Twitter using #TransformIT and #ITChat. Taking that step is a critical decision that will put you on the path to getting some amazing things done at the intersection of IT and business!

 

If you missed Episode 3, you can watch it on demand here.

 

Also, make sure that you tune in on October 28th when I’ll be talking to Frank Wander, former CIO at Guardian Life and Author of the book, Transforming IT Culture. We’ll be discussing the similarities between wine and culture from his own personal wine cellar! You’re not going to want to miss it. You can register for a calendar reminder here.

 

Join the Transform IT conversation anytime using the Twitter hashtags #TransformIT and #ITChat. Don’t forget that you can order my book, “The Quantum Age of IT” for 50% off thanks to the Intel IT Center: http://intel.ly/1pfz4tU