For the first time in Technology First history, we are hosting a women’s conference. We are thrilled to bring this half day event to the Women 4 Technology community! The theme for this year’s conference is Own IT! As you can imagine, we’ve had several conversations over what Own IT means, and I was surprised by the variety of viewpoints.
For me, Own IT means:
Owning who I am, knowing my values, understanding my strengths, owning my personality type, and setting, and sticking to, my boundaries. It’s so important to be both confident in who we are and really owning who we are. I remember a time when I wished that I was five feet tall and weighed 100 pounds. It simply isn’t the way I’m built and today I’m okay with that.
Over the years I’ve taken a plethora of values tests and they pretty much stay the same: collaboration, honesty, trust, contribution, and participation to name a few. Knowing my values helps me stay aligned with what really matters, how I decide to spend my time and with who. If you haven’t taken a values test here is a pdf to get you started.
Several years ago, I read Strength Finders 2.0 by Tom Rath. It’s a quick read and then a quick online test. The feedback I received was invaluable! I learned my top strengths are achiever, learner, responsibility, deliberative and relator. Knowing this has helped me know where and how to best spend my time. I surround myself with people that have different strengths because together we make a great team!
Knowing my personality type has also clarified how I communicate and how I process. If you are familiar with Myers-Briggs, or MBTI, I’m INTJ: introvert, intuitive, thinking, judging. I know, introvert, me?! This one really helped me understand the reason I’m exhausted after a day of meetings and networking.
Boundaries! Man, these are tough! As I get older, I’m better at them but then there are times I think I can conquer everything, volunteer for everything, and do everything. Setting boundaries has become both necessary and a way to ensure I work on some sort of work/life harmony.
Owning IT also means, to me, taking responsibility for my actions and my team. Ensuring that my expectations are clearly communicated, and that we are all on the same page. If something fails, it’s my fault and my job to find out what I need to do to fix it. What processes and/or procedures need to be reviewed, reevaluated, and/or created to ensure it doesn’t fail again? It’s when I mess up and take responsibility, owning my actions, or lack of action.
So, I ask you, what does Own IT mean to you? Join us on Wednesday, September 27th and share your point of view!
Melissa Cutcher is Executive Director of Technology First.