Just Exactly How Much Does Your IT Team Believe In You?

 Would members of your team run through a wall for you?
Would members of your team run through a wall for you?
Image Credit: Niels Linneberg

As an IT manager, you know that in the future there will probably be tough times. It’s easy for your team to say that they support you when everything is going well. However, when the chips are down and you are experiencing tough times, would they still feel the same way? The answer is probably no – if you have not done anything to make some IT team building happen. What can you do to get your team to support you all the time?

Create A Clear Vision

In order for your team to follow you, you are going to use your IT manager skills to provide them with something to believe in. Ultimately what we are talking about here is a vision. As the IT manager, it is your responsibility to paint a clear picture of what the future can look like so that your team understands what they are trying to achieve.

With a little luck, your company has already created a vision. They have probably tried to communicate it to everyone via speeches by senior management, emails, and perhaps even badge extenders that have been sent to everyone. However, have they been successful in capturing the attention of your team?

If not, then it’s going to be up to you to take the company vision and make it so that your team can believe in it. If it turns out that the company vision is “too big” for your team to rally behind, then you’ve got more work to do. You’ll need to take that vision, use your , IT manager training, and relate it to what your team is working on and create a custom vision for your team to believe in.

Show Results

Teams will support people who can prove that they can accomplish tasks. What this means for you is that you have a challenge lying ahead of you. You need to determine what results look like for your team.

Once you understand how what your team is working on relates to what the company is trying to accomplish, then you are half-way there. The next step is going to be to determine what kind of metrics can be measured to show how successful the company is being.

Your final task is going to be to relate the company’s success to your team’s efforts. I’ve had to do this a number of times before and it is not easy to do. However, take the time to understand how all of the various pieces and parts are related and then explain it to your team. Knowing that what they are working on makes a difference will be a very big deal to all of them.

Be Inclusive

Finally, one of the biggest challenges that an IT manager has is to make sure that you are inclusive. What this means is that you are going to have to make sure that you find ways to include everyone who is a member of your team in the things that you do.

It can be all too easy to take the easy way out and only work closely with those high performers on your team who seek you out. You know what I’m talking about: the team members who constantly show results are the ones that you want to work with.

However, don’t let this happen. Instead, take the time to make sure that you understand exactly who is on your team and make sure that you create time to work with each and every one of them. By doing this you will bring the team together – everyone will be left with a real sense of belonging to something that is bigger than them. It also means that when you are not there, they will be more likely to help each other out.

What All Of This Means For You

In order to be a successful IT manager, you need to know that your IT team has your back. This has to happen in both the good times and the bad times. It is your responsibility to discover how to create this kind of support within your team.

There are a number of different ways to go about making this happen. A great way to start is to provide your team with a very clear vision of just exactly what the company and the team are trying to accomplish. Next, you are going to want to be able to show the team the results of their efforts. Let them understand why they are doing the work that they are doing. Finally, you’ll need to find ways to be inclusive. Everyone on the team has to feel as though they are a part of the team.

As an IT manager you have been given a team. That does not mean that the group of people that you have working for you really support you. What needs to happen is that you need to find ways to shape them into a single unit that will support you in both the good times and the bad times. Follow these three suggestions and you’ll be able to create a team that will run through walls for you!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that you have to create a vision for your team in addition to the company’s vision?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Every IT manager dreams of being handed a fantastic team that knows what needs to be done and with a very little bit of direction from you gets right on it. Although this image is a great one to have, all too often our reality is quite different. The team that we are handed is often broken. The previous IT manager was unable to accomplish what was being asked of him or her and has either left or been moved to another project. You are being brought in to fix things. Are your IT manager skills going to be up to this task?