SQL Quiz 4

Posted: April 14, 2009 in Uncategorized

Last conference I did interviews with many of the speakers and posted the answers here. This time I want to get as many people involved as I can. So I am going to combine the SQL Quiz with interviews. The SQL Quiz is something I do every couple of months or so. The purpose is to get as many answers to the questions so people who are leaning about SQL or new in a career can maybe draw off our opinions.

This question is not meant to be something that you use to kiss the rear of the person that you work for; this is meant more for seeing that there are differences between great leaders and good managers. I will give you an example. A good manager is someone who may keep something on track like a project. But if he is not helping his or her people learn then are they really a great leader? A leader and a manager are two different traits; the question is how hard is it to find both of those traits in one person. I did an article on this on SSWUG a couple years ago, but I would love to see what other opinions are that are out there. For those of you reading, someday you may be in a roll to be a leader or a manager, maybe some of the answers I give or some of the answers that people I tag give will give you a few pointers on how you may want to look at your career or your life.

So what is the Question?

Who has been a great leader in your career and what made them a great leader.

I can think of a couple people that have been great leaders in my career and the one that I always think of first is a man by the name of Bill. Bill had the best outlook on life had so many reasons as to why not have that view. He never felt sorry for himself and he never complained. But that is not why I place him in as my greatest leader. Here is why I would place Bill as the best leader I have ever had.

People first- Company second – Now this may not be popular with the company but I think if more companies would look at it this way you was see much better employees that were much more vested with their companies. This does not by any mean say I think that the company suffers, I think it means taking care of your people. Here is an example:

I was working about 30 miles from my house, I heard that a Sherriff in LA was stabbed and his condition was unknown on the radio about 10 PM. They mentioned the Sherriff’s name and it was the same name as m brother. I was a little shaken to say the least. I pulled over because I could not drive and called the only number I could remember. The office it forwarded my call to Bill. Bill who was at home, in Bed drove 20 miles to get me along with another partner of the company. They took me back to a phone and they waited with me until I heard that the press release was just wrong.

Bill was not worried that I had to work at 6 the next morning; he did not care about if I was going to be there. He wanted to make sure that I was going to be ok.

Goals – Bill set goals for me, some were realistic and some would be very difficult. One time he made a bet that really seemed like there was no way I would make it, but if I did it would have been the best day of the company.
There was no time limit set on the goal and it really looked like it would be impossible. I talked to a couple people at the office and I told them what was on the line, they agreed to help. I had a lot of planning to do, and only 24 hours to do it in. But we did it. It was something that even if I would have fallen short on, I will never forget how he brought that team together. Bill always supported me in becoming a better person, manager, and to really live.

Well this is long enough; I am not going to tag as many people that I can find blogs to who are speaking at the SSWUG conference, just to see what answers we can come up with. Remember if you are tagged, please tag more people and if you are not tagged and have a blog let me know and I would like to see those as well.

Brent Ozar


Donald Farmer

Jason Strate

Jeremy Lowell

Kevin Kline

Thomas LaRock

Ted Malone

Tim Heuer

Tjay Belt

  1. […] when Chris Shaw posted SQL Quiz 4to his blog and I saw my name I knew that I was once again being asked to participate in the Web 2.0 […]

  2. Klara Barton says:

    2 great career leaders I want to mention:
    About 4 years ago when I was making a career change and wanted to become a DBA, I wrote an email to a guy named Chris, who at the time was the president of the local SQL Server User Group, and asked him for advice. His reply was not a ‘to do’ list as I was expecting, but instead something on the lines of ‘meet me at xyz restaurant, bring a resume and let’s talk’. He didn’t know anything about me, yet he took a chance and was willing to help. He also invited another DBA manager to join us for lunch. They both filled me with good information and advice. Besides that meeting, Chris has challenged me to get involved in the SQL community, conferences, etc., and has been a great influence on my career.
    The second great leader is the other DBA, Kat, who was at the lunch meeting. She hired me as a Jr. DBA and has mentored, molded and challenged me to grow as a DBA.
    Both of these people have made a huge impact on me transitioning into a DBA career. Also, my positive experience with these two leaders is one of the reasons I really enjoy being a DBA.
    Previous career: Hairdresser for 10+ years.

  3. […] Chris Shaw tagged SQL Server DBA bloggers and asked, “Who has been a great leader in your career and what made them a great leader?” […]

  4. […] Shaw has started up round 4 of his excellent SQL Quiz series. I was tagged by that crazy dynamic SQL guy, Jeremiah Peschka, who […]

  5. […] I got tagged by both Brent and Grant on Chris Shaw’s latest quiz. […]

  6. […] recently tagged me in a meme started by Chris Shaw, who […]

  7. Kay Batta says:

    Gerry Galewski, sales rep at Compuware in Milwaukee (consulting side).

    Several years ago when the bottom had dropped out of the mainframe market and many people were on the bench, Gerry had the vision to see that some of us could be retrained in data warehousing and placed in assignments with an experienced person.

    He ran classes for us and helped us land that critical first assignment. On one project I needed to be able to build cubes so he took the time to teach me. I learned enough to be able to track down errors in existing MDX code and fix them. That was at a company that is now my employer.

    For my years in mainframe the vote goes to Carolyn Nohr at the LinkBelt Chain plant in Indianapolis. She was the DBA and always willing to share her knowledge and understanding of the business.

  8. […] a while back from God knows who to answer the latest question starting with Chris Shaw on his blog.  Who has been a great leader in your career and what made them a great leader?  Granted I am […]

  9. datarealized says:

    Now that you have been mentored or seen great leadership in practice, do you find that others look to you for that leadership now?

    If so, how does that impact your conversataions with them and decisions regarding them?

    IMO, it’s a tremendous opportunity and reponsibility as well. I’ve seen many shrik away from this role which is bad for the “would-be-mentor” and of course the individual looking for that leadership.

    The reason I ask the question is this… Like it or not, many folks are already in a leadership role in some facet of their professional life, regardless of their title or offical set of responsibilites. The real question here is, have you acknowledged it? Are you being the mentor that was modeled?

    Speaking for myself; it’s tough to do and I’m sure that I’ve failed in this more than once. That said, watching someone grow and mature technically, professionally or personally is nothing short of amazing. Being part of that process is a compliment and worth more than what I’ve put into it.

    • Kay Batta says:

      Yes, I find that my team mates at work often turn to me. We toss around ideas on how to resolve a problem and I try to help them understand the application or language or whatever better so they can figure things out themselves. It also helps them in their problem solving skills.

      Currently, most questions are about SSIS since I have explored it the most. Today a developer needed to know how to get a child package to send values back to the calling package. I brought up an example and explained it to him.

      I also get questions about a complex application written in Informatica. It loads data that comes in many formats and identifies the format and loads it to the databases we maintain for our customers.

      I thoroughly enjoy sharing my knowledge. Besides, the more others know how to do something, the easier it is to move on to more interesting work (such as finding good uses of data mining).

    • chrisshaw says:


      Good Question…

      When I am in a leadership position, I try to remember what past leaders that I considered good have done for me. I try to apply what they have done to what I will do.

      In short, I am not sure how to answer, the thought of someone considering me a great leader is more then my mind can deal with. I guess I would rather not think about it and instead try to model what I do based on the actions of those I respect and feel like they have done right by not only me but the company as well.


  10. […] Chris Shaw has continued his awesome SQL Quiz chain and I was lucky enough to get tagged down the line by none other than the SQLFool! […]

  11. […] when Chris Shaw posted SQL Quiz 4 to his blog and I saw my name I knew that I was once again being asked to participate in the Web […]

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