Episode 11 – Upgrade To A New Mindset with Michael Lin

 In Podcasts

Michael Lin is a business advisor who helps tech leaders to develop their business skills. He is also author of the book “Career Advancing Secrets For Tech Leaders”. Michael says that his passion is to help ambitious Tech Leaders to completely “upgrade” to a new mindset.


Time Stamped Show Notes

(00:52) – Phil introduces Michael Lin

(01:19) – Michael talks about getting his Batchelor of Science degree, working in I.T. for many years and then building his own businesses

(02:10) – Michael says that he has talked to plenty of people wiser than him and that he is widely read

(02:27) – Michael describes how his friends in corporate I.T. began to ask him for advice which is when he realised his business skills and people skills could be applied to I.T.

(03:14) – Michael now helps tech professionals, which he loves to do, and also describes himself as “A developer of people”


(03:55) – Unique Career Tip: Michael says that every piece of career success you have had is because you treated your career as a business, either intentionally or unintentionally

(04:30) – Michael says that every struggle or obstacle is because you are treating your career as a hobby

(04:52) – Michael uses an analogy to illustrate why you need to solve other peoples’ problems

(06:42) – Michael uses a second analogy to illustrate how the client perceives provision of service

(08:04) – Service is about solving problems and making clients’ pain go away

(08:57) – Phil comments that, for a client, it is all about the outcome

(09:00) – Michael talks about treating your career as a business

(11:16) – Michael describes how management operates and how you can support your manager

(12:31) – Phil comments that it’s about having a mindset of professionalism in what you do


(13:11) – Worst Career Moment: Michael talks about an experience when he was young and inexperienced

(13:41) – The consultancy Michael was working for had a contract with the Australian Department of Defence

(13:58) – Michael was sent to conduct an audit at an army base, spending a day working with a civilian contractor

(14:41) – The contractor had a negative and a pessimistic attitude and charmed Michael into his way of thinking

(15:24) – When asked, Michael repeated the negative views and without realising did so in front of the Head of I.T.

(16:41) – A week later Michael was called by the consultancy and was told that he had embarrassed them in front of the client. Michael then describes what he learnt.

(18:08) – Phil comments that it is as much about relationships and communication as it is about technology


(18:24) – Career Highlight / Greatest Success: Michael talks about how he recently helped a client secure a very highly paid job

(18:45) – Michael describes how his client drove three hours for a job interview that only lasted five minutes

(19:17) – Michael helped him to understand why this might have happened and what the positive indicators were, such as being asked to come back next week

(21:17) – Michael identified that the interviewer wanted something his client had

(22:30) – Michael’s client was offered the job after demonstrating that he could solve the interviewer’s problems


(24:18) – What Excites You About The Future of a Career in I.T.? Michael says it’s the potential for personal growth

(24:26) – Michael believes that the I.T. field is the biggest meritocracy

(25:08) – Michael has seen people come from very humble begins and then enjoy success in I.T.

(25:17) – Phil says that the opportunities are there for everybody


(25:31) – The Reveal

(25:36) – What attracted you to an I.T. career in the first place? – “Everyone else in my family is a professional musician.” “I saw the potential of computers in business”

(26:54) – What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? – “It’s 30% technical knowledge and 70% your ability to deal with business and people”

(27:43) – If you were to begin your I.T. career again, right now, what would you do? – “I would learn how to truly understand business and people”

(28:48) – What career objectives are you focusing on right now? – “I’m helping as many tech professional as possible”

(29:52) – What’s the number one non-technical skill that has helped you in your career so far? – “My understanding of how business operates and of people”


(30:29) – A Parting Piece of Career Advice: Michael talks about the way people in the I.T field need help to understand business

(32:28) – Michael believes users have no empathy for those who support I.T. systems

(33:08) – Michael says that it’s time that we help ourselves to understand how business works in the real world

(34:15) – If you learn to understand business and people you will have more enjoyment in what you do


3 Key Points:     

  1. Manage your career like a business but not like a hobby
  2. Develop a mindset of professionalism
  3. Focus on solving problems and removal of your clients’ pains


Resources Mentioned:

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