Jeffrey M. Gott
If students aren’t sure about the realities of IT management or business analysis before they take Jeffrey Gott’s classes, they find out soon. After 35-year career in senior-level IT management, mainly at a global Fortune 500 healthcare company, Gott knows what works and what doesn’t. Across an incredibly wide range of functions, he brought diverse departments together, ensured positive outcomes even when business problems were tough, and developed a great eye for the kind of skills and traits that make for a good IT leader. Recently retired, he is now focused on teaching and sharing that wisdom and experience with students through case studies and IT management topics taken straight from his long career.
Q: What are the most satisfying or challenging aspects of working in the industry?
JG: There are always new things to learn. As an IT professional you are the service situated in the middle of different disciplines or departments, so you know what’s new and important in finance, manufacturing, law and human resources. At the same time, it’s a challenge to bring people together.
Q: What might surprise people who are considering IT?
JG: I didn’t find that IT in a business setting was surprising in any way, perhaps because I started as a bench technician and worked my way up while earning my degrees. I didn’t expect to have a 360-degree view of so many business functions — the different sides of human resources, law, finance, etc. — but that has only helped my career.
Q: What makes for great IT leadership?
JG: Staying focused on the business process and having enough interest in it to grow the business, contribute new ideas and take responsible risks. Accepting that all of your ideas are not good ideas.
Q: Any advice from “the trenches,” so to speak?
JG: Develop a broader understanding of what’s rewarding to you personally. It’s also a big transition to move toward managing people; a good analyst might not be a good manager. But most companies have several different career tracks for people with solid IT skills.
Q: What would you be doing if you weren’t in IT?
JG: My first degree out of high school was an associate’s degree in electronic engineering. I might have pursued engineering further, if I wasn’t in IT. I love technology and learning, and the industry fulfills those interests.