If you have not read the first post in this 4-part series and completed the exercise, now is a good time to do it. Click here to read the post.
Do you have the color combination selected of the traits you would like to have in an IT manager?
Most people who take this exercise pick one of two color combinations:
If you look closely, they are exactly the same except for the second color. In the first series, the second color is Red, , , and in the second series it is Green. The other three color options are the same in both series.
There are four personality areas I want to discuss with you. With what I’ve just laid out, you can already see that the majority of opinions select the same color combination in three of the four areas. The reason is because we are all quite a bit alike when it comes to how we approach work as IT employees, , , especially in three of the four areas.
Here are the keys that make it this way.
Traits Set #1, , , Technically oriented or social?
We want decision makers who are technically oriented managing our IT organizations. We do not want people who prefer to follow and are indecisive as managers. Therefore, RED gets the vote almost all the time.
Ninety percent of IT employees have RED tendencies in this area.
Traits Set #2 – Introverted or extroverted?
We would like our IT managers to be excellent communicators and comfortable in communicating with others. That’s what we would like but seventy percent have GREEN traits. This means most IT managers are shy and introverted.
It does not mean they can’t communicate well, but communication with people outside their immediate network like department managers and senior managers is definitely a challenge that must be overcome. GREEN traits are where most IT people are in this one.
Traits Set #3 – High or low sense of urgency?
We would like an IT manager to have a high sense of urgency, , , not someone who is happy if we resolve a problem three days later. If a system is down, the IT manager needs to be in a hurry to get it fixed. At the same time, the manager needs to be a calming effect, , , not Chicken Little running around shouting, “The sky is falling!”.
Eighty-five to ninety percent of IT managers have a high sense of urgency, , , so GREEN traits get this vote.
Traits Set #4 – High or low detail?
This is a tough one. As a programmer or a Systems Administrator, we need to be high detail to do a good job. Fortunately, ninety percent of us are high detail in IT. The challenge comes when we become IT managers. As a manager, you don’t want to be so detail oriented. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of detail when working as a manager, , , but now we have to delegate and let others take care of the technology detail.
Many of us have a difficult time letting go of the detail, and I can tell you this will impede your progress as a manager if you can’t make the transition from technical expert to business manager. It’s a whole different ball game when you become the manager.
So, RED includes the traits that are found in 90% of the IT staff.
Basically, you can say that 90% of all IT people are:
Have a high sense of urgency
Do not like repetitive tasks
High detail and knowledgeable about the job
Like to have things done accurately and their way
That’s essentially everyone in IT if it is 90%.
70% are shy and introverted. That’s also quite a majority of your people or of the IT manager community. If you are shy and introverted, it means two things:
1. You probably have weak communication skills.
2. Your desire to communicate is lower.
Not a problem too much as a programmer, , , but for an IT manager this one becomes a real issue.
In the next post, I’ll share some insights and challenges about the four personality areas that drive most of your IT staff:
– Independent and technically oriented (90%)
– Shy and introverted (70%)
– High sense of urgency (85%)
– High detail (90%)