What Kind Of IT Manager Are You?

by drjim on October 22, 2015

Sure, you are a leader. But what kind of leader are you?

Sure, you are a leader. But what kind of leader are you?
Image Credit: Fouquier ॐ

As IT managers we are called on to lead our IT teams. We all go about doing this in a variety of different ways. It might have a lot to do with how our parents raised us, maybe it has something to do with the bosses that we’ve had along the way, maybe it’s based on our personality, or perhaps it has something to do with the IT manager training that we’ve had. No matter what the reason is, we are all different types of leaders with different sets of IT manager skills. What you need to know is what type of leader you are.

The General

If your IT manager personality type matches the General, then you are a top-down type of manager – what you say goes. You are rather inflexible. The good news is that you do very well every time there is a crisis. However, because of your management style you are forever going to have to be dealing with morale issues within your team. You are going to want to have people on your team who are good at building teams (because you are not) and who can get and stay in touch with your team members.

The Paragon

I must confess that this is the role model that I think that most of us are striving for. The Paragon IT manager is both high achieving and hard working. You set very high standards for your team. Your leadership style is that you lead by example. Where you’ll run into problems is communicating with the members of your team. You are also not going to be very good at sharing the credit for your team’s successes. On your team you are going to need to have coaches who can work with the team to explain why meeting your standards is so important. You’ll also need team builders to help boost team morale.

The Team Builder

As an IT manager who is a team builder, you are the one who will create strong relationships with your employees – lots and lots of IT team building. You’ll accomplish this by providing your employees with a great deal of freedom to make their own decisions. You will have created an environment of open communication and your employees will be very, very loyal to you. On your team you are going to want paragons on your team to make sure that you have high standards and generals to make sure that you don’t allow poor performers to go undetected.

The Coach

You are a very patient IT leader. You are willing to mentor a large number of your team members. You work with them to help them to create long-term goals. Once they’ve done this, you work with them to help them to be successful. You have to be careful because all of this mentoring takes up your time and you’ve got a lot of immediate tasks that require your attention. On your team you are going to want self motivated paragons and generals who can help you to deal with crises when they arise.

What All Of This Means For You

As IT managers we are all different. We’ve developed our own unique styles and are all trying to do the best that we can in our jobs. In order to become better, we need to understand just exactly what type of IT manager leader we are so that we can make sure that we pick the right people to be on our team.

There are many different types of IT leaders out there. The types include the general, the paragon, the team builder, and the coach. Each has his or her own strengths and weaknesses. What is most important is that they are not able to accomplish their job by themselves – they need to include a team of people who fill in their gaps.

Take the time to understand what kind of IT manager Then take a look at who you have on your team and do some back-filling if it is needed!

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

Question For You: Of the four different IT manager types that we discussed, which would you most like to be like?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

It does not always make sense to retreat from confrontation while at work. Even IT managers can find themselves in situations where it almost seems to be a better idea to fight instead of give in. However, as you can well imagine, if you are not careful, you may end up putting your career on the line if you take this path. What this means is that all of us need to use our IT manager skills in order to learn the best way to fight at work.

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