Adam N. Rosenberg — Individual Contributor
My ambition is to produce good work. To add value, I work with others and I expect others to work with me. The differences in skills and desires make all of us more productive. When the people I work with can articulate a vision, I can contribute to that vision with insight, decision quantification, and computer tools. The combination of all three of these talents in one individual makes me a powerful and profitable contributor.
I have been extraordinarily successful in my technical work. My decision support systems are prototyped in days or hours, and they typically last for years. It would be nice to get credit and recognition more often for my technical triumphs, or to have it turn into compensation and job security, but I take great satisfaction that lots of folks are realizing benefit from my work all the time.
If there is a secret to my success in adding value, then it is control over my work environment. At the lowest level, I choose my methods and tools. Also, my success has depended on my good judgment in defining the problems to solve. The "client" said she needed a time-based, event-driven simulation to understand differences in error rates in a data channel, a simulation that might take months to build. Once she explained the problem, I realized what she needed was a Bernoulli model of data errors that solved her problem in half an hour.
I have never sought control over other people or their work. A manager adds value by making other people more productive, or by guiding them onto more productive paths. My own productivity is far greater than any improvement I can create or inspire in others. I have met truly gifted managers, people with extraordinary skill in making other people's work more valuable. I appreciate their ability and rejoice when it can complement my own talent.
In addition to my technical skill, I have a wonderful ability to communicate. I can articulate a subtle point so a receptive listener can understand the nuances of a technical issue. This is reflected by my success teaching a doctoral-level course and my explanation of fine distinctions to corporate executives and software developers. In politics and persuasion, however, I rely on the skills of others.