“If you want to want to play better ball, then you’ve got to play with people who are better than you.” That’s the statement my friend makes as he consults with leaders and businesses. His main job is to help fix broken churches and in one of his recent submissions to American Church Magazine (www.theamericanchurchmag.com), my friend used this baseball analogy. Although he was referring to church pastors, I think it applies equally well to those of us who work as WLAN professionals.
Let me ask you a hard question: Who are the Wi-Fi people you hang with? Are you the SME (subject matter expert) and if so, where and how do you get input to improve your technical knowledge base? When you run into a real issue, who do you ask for help? Have you developed a network of Wi-Fi professionals where you can ask hard questions or do you just say “I’ll figure this out by myself; after all, I AM a Wi-Fi professional!”
If you’re interested in “playing ball with people better than you”, then allow me to offer ways I have found that let me “play with some of the best.” (If you are going to “fix it yourself”, you can save some time and end reading this blog now.)
- Read Wi-Fi blogs daily. I daily read the recent blogs on http://www.cwnp.com. I also follow about twenty other blogs of Wi-Fi professionals, men and women who know a LOT MORE about Wi-Fi than I do.
- Volunteer. Find good Wi-Fi organizations and volunteer to help out with what they need (yep, that means no pay!). You will find professionals who can improve your Wi-Fi skill set.
- Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn: All these social media outlets allow you to ask questions directly of the “best of the best” in the Wi-Fi industry and amazingly, these Wi-Fi experts often answer your questions.
- Vendor webinars. Although you probably will have to “endure” a vendor sales pitch, these (free!) online webinars usually have industry professionals giving outstanding information.
- Never stop learning. I do not like the term “Wi-Fi Guru”, mainly because it conjures up in my mind of someone who “knows it all”. Personally, I will never know everything about Wi-Fi. So, I will keep looking and searching for those who know more than I do.
One last baseball real life story. I follow the Tampa Bay Rays in major league baseball, and my office is only a mile from Tropicana Field (Go Rays!). Earlier in the 2o13 season, Cy Young award winning pitcher David Price went on the DL (disabled list) due to a triceps muscle strain. When he returned to active pitching, he came back rejuvenated, restored and pitching some of his best baseball ever. But interestingly, the rest of the pitching rotation started pitching a lot better than at the beginning of the year. When one of the starting pitchers Chris Archer was asked why he was doing so well, he said it was due to his mentor, David Price.
Hanging with professionals better than you will help you do Wi-Fi better!
Stay tuned for my next blog topic: It’s OK to be stuck in Wi-Fi, but it’s not OK to stay stuck.