Work Traits

Tooling

Tooling

Tooling is particularly useful in buying roles, design, IT, product development, telecommunications, consulting, and business improvement positions.
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What is tooling?

Tooling means that you need to tackle a project, you feel most prepared when you have the best tools and technologies at your disposal. You’re highly interested in the things you get to work with, as well as how effective those tools are at assisting you in your work.

To you, tools can include apps, software, checklists, models, prototypes, products, equipment, and more. Anything you can use to streamline workflows and maximize your efficiency is something you want access to. 

You’re extremely technologically savvy, but your constant emphasis on tooling can make it difficult for you to thrive in roles and environments where you need to be scrappy and use whatever tools you have available.

We call it: Tools

We call it: Tools

Your level of interest in instruments, apps, technology, and other tools that assist you or your team in their work.

Your level of interest in instruments, apps, technology, and other tools that assist you or your team in their work.

The best investment is in the tools of one’s own trade.

Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin

Leaders who value tooling

Stephen Covey

Stephen Covey

Author Stephen Covey is best known for his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” In that book, he talks about four different generations of time management tools we’ve used to get our work done. 

While Covey’s system for effectiveness has a lot of layers and elements, it’s clear that an emphasis on having the right (and oftentimes, the best) tools is important for peak efficiency. 

However, “technology and tools are useful and powerful when they are your servant and not your master,” warned Covey.

Ginni Rometty

Ginni Rometty is the executive chairman of IBM and previously served as the company’s first female CEO. Needless to say, she has a strong passion for tools and technology. 

She’s kept a keen eye on some of the most advanced tools of our time, such as artificial intelligence (AI). “I’ve said that artificial intelligence will transform every single job here. Not replace, but transform,” she said in an award acceptance speech from The Aspen Institute.

However, she also recognizes that powerful tools need strategy and leadership. “You have to bring [technology] safely into the world,” she said in a different talk. “Or your job is not done.”

Wade Foster

Wade Foster is a co-founder of Zapier, a technology solution that links up thousands of apps for more powerful, automated workflows.

It goes without saying that he has an obsession with tooling and efficiency. "Automation is one of the most pivotal topics of the next decade. People and businesses are proactively seeking smarter, better ways to drive tangible results in less time," he said in an announcement of new partner apps. 

“By offering easy-to-use and powerful integrations with over 2,000 of the top software companies in the world, we're able to give businesses of all sizes valuable time back in their day so they can focus on their most important goals."

The benefits of tooling

Productivity

Always using the best tools and technologies makes you highly efficient and productive.

Early adoption

When it comes to a level of interest in tools, you’re ahead of the curve and an early adopter of some of the newest technologies.

Objectivity

Relying on tools means you can operate with those consistent resources, rather than being influenced by other people’s opinions.

The blind spots of tooling

Shiny object syndrome

There are constantly new tools and technologies hitting the market, and you can fall victim to always implementing the next best thing.

Availability

Tools and technologies require time, effort, and money which means you might not always have access to the latest and greatest tools to do your work.

Dependency

Tools are great, but they can occasionally crash or experience bugs. You can become too dependent on your tools, which leaves you stuck when they’re no longer available to you.

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How to have a high level of interest in tools

1) Start with a need.

You don’t want to fall into the trap of implementing a tool for the sake of having one. You want it to be highly effective for the work you’re trying to get done.

With that in mind, return to your needs. What specific problem are you trying to solve? That introspection will help you focus on tools that actually benefit you, your workflows, and your objectives.

2) Research what’s available.

If you haven’t previously had a high level of interest in tools, you likely don’t have a great understanding of what’s available to you.

Start with some research to understand all of the different options to address your needs. From Google searches to conversations with industry peers, the research phase will help you uncover all of the different tools and technologies that could help you work more effectively.

3) Sign up for free trials.

Have no fear—you don’t need to blindly commit to a tool for the long haul. Plenty of solutions offer free trials that you can use to test run a certain technology.

That trial period will give you an opportunity to thoroughly evaluate a tool and determine whether or not it’s a good fit for you.

4) Reevaluate frequently.

Tools are constantly advancing and changing, and a level of interest in tools means you want the greatest options available to you. 

That means your tools shouldn’t be set in stone. Frequently reevaluate what you’re using, what you’re not using, and what could be improved. That way, you’ll make sure that you always have the best technologies for your specific tasks.

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