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What Makes a Great Operations Leader?

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I've posted a few times about the posts by John Allspaw and this is another instance where I admire what he wrote and think it's worth quoting a few lines:

What are the attributes (other than technical ability/experience) that make a great VP of Technical Operations?

Some good quotes:

Great Ops leaders understand that enduring risk of service outage, failure, and degradation is necessary for evolving and enabling a business, so they don't avoid change, they instead build a straightforward and collaborative way for change (and the accompanying risk) to take place.

You want someone who is haunted by worst-case scenarios but doesn't allow them to paralyze the organization or technical evolution of an infrastructure. Leaders that I admire value solutions and remediation-finding over blame assignment and avoidance.

And, as for many other areas of life:

a great Ops leader is one that continually looks elsewhere for improvement, inspiration, mentoring, and guidance. This means that becoming a great Ops leader isn't an actual achievement, it's a never-ending process involving humility, which in turn means that lists of great Ops leader attributes will always be incomplete. :)

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Published at DZone with permission of Rodrigo De Castro, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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