Read Time Three Minutes
I walked over to conduct the interview. Barry’s office is about 5 minutes away from where I work on Harcourt Street just off Camden Street in Dublin 2. It had been about a year since I had last met with Barry. I had known Barry since 2009 when I was hands on recruiter and had met several times before I helped him get the role in Opsource which was acquired by Dimension Data shortly after. Over the years Im proud to say I found some great developers to work for Barry’s team. I was always very proud representing Opsource / DD in the market place as I knew it was a special place to work.
Louise the office manager greeted and helped me set up the equipment before the interview took place. I shared with Louise how WIKN (click to find out more) got started and what my objective was with the interview.
I learned a lot from the interview with Barry and I really got to know more about myself also. In the interview which can be found here Barry gives an overview about his journey to becoming VP Of Dimension Data. Barry attended UCC in Cork, took a year out to travel which he strongly recommends to people to do and did a masters in UCD in Dublin before moving to work in Silicon Valley for 6 years.
Barry speaks with conviction when he sets out the importance of travel to broaden your horizons and also to work abroad with no safety net to bring the best out of you.
We spoke about the difference encountered working in the US with Americans attitude to risk taking and failure. I could relate to that from my experience living in Rhode Island and interailing throughout America. Working in Silicon Valley was very important in shaping Barry’s career and building his confidence for future senior roles he would take up back In Dublin.
In the interview we speak about
- An overview of Cloud and Security
- The importance of travel to broaden your horizons
- How to create a winning culture
- The secrets to growing a successful team and building a team with complementary skills referencing Belbins Framework
- What Barry’s Knows Now he wish he knew then
- What Barry would say to his 18-year-old self and 80-year-old self if he had the chance to
- The importance of a morning ritual to starting your day positively
- Advice to graduates entering the market
- How to keep going when you are going through a rough patch and the most important Question Barry asks himself?
How to build a successful team
However what I learned the most was Barry’s advice how to build a successful team. Barry talked me through the Belbin’s Framework more details can be found here and the importance of knowing your strengths and the type of person you are. Barry is analytical and an implementer and is the right guy to help implement a strategy and feels most comfortable analysing data and then coming up with a systematic plan how to execute the plan. Some people are the completer / finisher that cross the T’s and dot the eyes to get the project over the line. From looking at the list I would say I’m a Plant who would be classed as creative and good at coming up with solutions in unconventional ways.
Once you know what type of person you are the next step is to hire people for the team that complement your skillset and ignore the halo effect to hire people similar to yourself. By doing this you will create a natural balance that will allow a team to succeed. I found this fascinating as it was a journey I felt myself going on this year and I told Barry how liberating it was telling people what I was not good at or passionate about and where my strengths and passions lie. I stopped doing the things that I did for years that I felt I needed to do and started to do more of the things that I felt added actual value. So its pretty easy to highlight what I don’t do but very easy to also see what I’m passionate about and ultimately gives me energy. This increased my confidence as I was being me rather than a person I thought I had to be.
The Importance of Failing
I shared with Barry how I failed in my first job as an area manager in a low cost German retailer after I graduated from my masters.. I gave literally everything to the job and I just point blank failed. I licked my wounds for a long time after that experience and felt really down about it. Barry said to me that it was a positive now as I learned so much from it and in hindsight it was one of the best things that happened to me. The learn don’t do a role that doesn’t play to your strengths. However I also learned its okay to fail and try new things.
What would Barry say to his 18 year old or 80 year old self ?
I asked Barry who would you speak to your 18 year or 80 year old self. Barry actually answered both questions. Barry would speak to his 80 year old self first and then tell his 18 year old self to take more risks and don’t be too cautious. We then spoke about regret and the importance of not living with regret and taking risks.
I gave Barry an overview of a recent article I had read about a palliative nurse who wrote a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware. In the book she shared
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
After the interview ended myself and Barry were packing up and speaking about motivational books. Barry told me about John Mac Clean who is the ambassador to Dimension Data and told be about how he was a very promising athlete and at 22 he had a terrible accident on his bike and was left in a wheelchair. Rather than dwelling on it he trained really hard and started to complete triathlons and eventually start back walking. I have read a couple of pages every night before I go to bed and its an excellent read which I’m very grateful for Barry giving it to me. Once I complete the book I will write a review and share it.
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