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Introduction to the Series: Embracing the Journey of Feeling Stupid

By Colin McNamara
Published in Business & Strategy
March 27, 2024
2 min read
Introduction to the Series: Embracing the Journey of Feeling Stupid

Introduction to the Series: Embracing the Journey of Feeling Stupid

Welcome to this series, where we delve into the essence of career growth, leadership, and the unexpected power of feeling unqualified. For many of us, the notion of feeling “stupid” or out of our depth is an uncomfortable one, often seen as a setback or a sign of weakness. However, through my journey of over two decades in the tech industry—spanning roles from the disciplined frameworks of the Marine Corps to leadership positions in cloud computing, and ventures into sustainable production and artificial intelligence—I’ve discovered that embracing this feeling is not just beneficial; it’s essential for profound learning and innovation.

The Universal Experience of Learning

Feeling unqualified or “stupid” is a universal experience, especially in fields as fast-paced and ever-evolving as technology and leadership. It signifies the edge of our current competencies, pushing us into territories ripe for growth and discovery. This series aims to unpack the transformative power of these moments, providing insights and strategies for turning discomfort into a dynamic force for personal and professional development.

Purpose of the Series

The aim of this series is to explore the narrative of my career not as a linear progression of successes but as a series of deliberate steps into the unknown—each marked by the initial trepidation of feeling unprepared but followed by significant growth and learning. By sharing these experiences, I hope to illuminate the path for others in the tech industry and beyond, showing that feeling “stupid” is not an endpoint but a beginning.

What to Expect

Over the course of this series, we’ll explore:

  1. Early Career Foundations: From the discipline and leadership skills honed in the Marine Corps to the initial forays into tech and the pivotal early challenges overcome.
  2. Diving into Tech and Management: The transition from technical expertise to leadership, highlighting key moments of growth and the impact of embracing new learning curves.
  3. Navigating Complexities at OCI: A deep dive into the challenges of leading at Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, managing rapid scaling, and the continuous learning required in high-stakes environments.
  4. Venturing into Sustainable Supply Chain and AI: Exploring the leap into sustaible consumer packaged goods and artificial intelligence, the creation of a tech community, and integrating these technologies into new business ventures.
  5. Embracing the Journey of Feeling Stupid: Reflecting on the overarching theme of the series, the value of vulnerability in leadership, and looking ahead to future challenges and opportunities for growth.

This series is an invitation to all who have ever felt overwhelmed by a new role, project, or technology—to anyone who has ever doubted their capabilities in the face of new challenges. It’s a testament to the idea that feeling “stupid” is not a barrier but a gateway to growth and achievement.

Let’s embark on this journey together, exploring how embracing our vulnerabilities and stepping confidently into the unknown can lead to unparalleled growth and innovation.

Continue to part 2 - Early Career Foundations: From the Marine Corps to Tech Innovation


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Colin McNamara

Colin McNamara

AI Strategist, Private Label Pioneer, Sustainability Visionary

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Business & Strategy
Personal & Lifestyle
Technology & Innovation
Sustainability & Ethics

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