What Makes An IT Manager A Great IT Manager?

by drjim on January 26, 2017

Some IT managers are simply unforgettable

Some IT managers are simply unforgettable
Image Credit: chamellow

In all honesty, it really does not take that much to become an IT manager. One promotion and poof there you are no matter what IT manager skills you may or may not have.. However, in order to become an unforgettable IT manager, now that’s something completely different! I’m pretty sure that all of us would like to become unforgettable if only we knew what IT manager training we need in order to do this. It turns out that it’s not easy, but the good news is that it can be done.

Google Shows Us The Way

Sometimes you’ve just got to love those folks over at Google. They are doing so well and making so much money that they find that they have the time to do all of the investigations that we all wish that we had the time to do. Well guess what, they’ve done it again and this time they’ve taken the time to investigate what makes an IT manager a good IT manager.

Google’s interest in finding out what makes an IT manager a good manager is very self-serving. What they have discovered is that people don’t really tend to leave companies. Instead, they leave bosses. What this means is that if Google could find a way to make better bosses then they could reduce their employee turnover. Since Google is all about data, that’s what the people who were in charge of solving their turnover problem set about collecting. The first thing that they did was to identify who Google’s best IT managers were.

Once they knew this, then then studied them. Once they had captured the qualities that make these IT managers the ones that everyone wants to work for, they turned their findings into an internal Google training course for IT managers. Google’s motivation for doing this is simple: they believe that teams that are led by good IT managers end up doing everything better.

What Makes AN IT Manager Unforgettable?

So if we want to be good IT managers like the ones who work for Google, what do we need to do? First off we need to become passionate. The people on your team need to believe that you really care about your work. You need to believe that you are really trying to accomplish something worthwhile. If you are bored, or appear to be bored, then your team will become bored and nothing will get done.

Next, you’ve got to be willing to take one for the team. What this means is that the people on your team are going to make mistakes. These mistakes are going to cause problems for people outside of your team and you are going to get angry people showing up at your office demanding the heads of members of your team. You need to stand up to them and take responsibility for what happened. This will go a long way with your team showing them that you have their back and that they have your support.

You have to know your team. Everyone on your team is special and unique. This means that they all have things that they are both good at and not so good at. As your team’s IT manager you need to very carefully evaluate what each team member both can do and wants to do. Using this information you need to carefully assign different team members to work on different projects. By showing that you understand where each member’s skills lie, you’ll communicate to your team that you’ve taken the time to understand exactly who they really are.

What All Of This Means For You

Becoming an IT manager is actually fairly easy – it’s the result of a lucky promotion. However, becoming an unforgettable IT manager is a separate story. This is a lot harder to do and in order to accomplish it we need to know what is required.

The folks over at Google have been looking into what makes an IT manager who is an unforgettable IT manager. Their motivation comes from the simple fact that great managers mean that fewer employees will leave the company. To be a great manager we need to have a deep passion about the work that we are doing. We also have to be willing to take a hit for our team. This will show your team that you believe in them and will support them going forward. You also have to take the time to understand who you have on your team and assign them work that best matches their talents.

The good news out of all of this is that we can all move forward in our quest to become unforgettable IT managers. It’s not going to be an easy journey and it involves a lot of IT team building; however, simply working in that direction will make our teams more desirable places to be and will allow us to do a better job of retaining our team members. Now go out there and become unforgettable!

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

Question For You: What the best way to show your team that you are passionate about the work that you are doing?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Can we take just a moment and have a talk about grit? No, I’m not talking about the buildup of sand and dust from an industrial process. Rather, I’m talking about the stuff that motivates us. That causes us to keep striving to achieve a goal. This all sounds like good stuff and the kind of IT manager skills that we’d all like to have, but it does beg the question: is it possible to have too much grit?

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