Congratulations, you are finally an IT manager. Does that mean that you are also an IT leader? Turns out that the answer to that question is no. So what’s the difference? Employees do what a manager tells them to do because they have to. Employees do what a leader tells them to do because they want to. Clearly we all need to find out what we need to do in order to become leaders…
What Do IT Leaders Do?
Aren’t an IT manager and an IT leader really just two different words for the same person? No, they are not. A manager is able to work with a team in order to create a kind of order out of the normal chaos of life. A leader, on the other hand, is able to deal with ambiguity, change, and opportunity all at the same time.
Although we often associate leaders with that touchy-feely big vision stuff, it can be easy to overlook one important point. Leaders know how to get results. What’s even more impressive is that IT leaders are able to get these results by convincing not only the people who work for them, but also large parts of the rest of the company to subscribe to their vision and work with them to make their vision a reality.
To become a leader, you need to always be aware. Leaders move fast. They have the ability to recognize both threats and opportunities when they see them. They use their positive energy and they pull together a response that is able to meet the challenges that they encounter.
How Do IT Leaders Do It?
Everyone wants to be an IT leader, but very few ever make it. One reason for this is because many people don’t fully understand what it takes to be a leader.
Some people are born with many of the leader traits that are needed in order to be successful. However, the rest of us have to find leader role models, watch them closely and understand what set of traits we need to develop further.
IT leaders have a set of characteristics that allow them to fill the role of leader. These characteristics include being caring, being comfortable with not having all of the facts, being persistent, and being a good communicator. These are the skills that you can learn how to develop by finding leaders who are good at them and observing them closely.
What All Of This Means For You
As an IT manager, your ultimate goal should be to become an IT leader. Employees will follow and do what a leader tells them to do because they believe in the vision that the leader has laid out for them.
IT leaders get things done – they produce real results. However, they are able to do this by getting people who don’t work for them to complete work for them simply because they believe in what the leader is trying to accomplish. IT leaders are able to make this happen because of their personal characteristics that include being caring, persistent, and good communicators.
Every IT manager can become an IT leader. What it requires is for you to locate a good IT leader that you can emulate. By observing closely and developing leadership skills, you can become the person who can accomplish anything.
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™
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Question For You: How do you think that you can tell if you have become an IT leader?
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental IT Leader Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!
What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
If there is one thing that is constant in IT it’s that things are always changing. What this means for you as an IT manager is that you have an important decision to make: are you going to resist change or are you going to become a change agent? If you choose to become a change agent, then we’re going to need to have a talk about how you can go about doing that…