Daily Archives: August 16, 2011

Make others the hero

Most of us in IT are high achievers, independent, self starters, , , not all, but most.

With our type of personality we tend to be competitive and want to win, , , it is a good thing. We also like to do well in life and career so we work hard. It’s important for us to be recognized, , , we like being a hero, , , also good.

But here is something for you to consider. You need to make others the hero.

That’s right, give credit for successes to your IT staff, , , they actually did the work you know, , , even if you had to push hard to make it happen.

Another idea is to give your boss or maybe the CFO information that helps him be a hero. This one is hard to do, , , I can tell you from experience, , , but when you do things that helps the CFO become a hero in the CEO’s eyes, , , you develop a very important ally in your company. One day, you are going to need CFO support.

Let me give you an example. In a company I joined as a new CIO I discovered we were spending entirely too much for postage in our company, , , almost twice what we should have been spending for our industry.

As a young manager, I would have taken the information straight to my boss at the time, the CEO. Yes, I would have become a hero in his eyes and it would have been gratifying to receive positive accolades for my good work, , , but guess who I would have alienated by doing this.

Correct, , , the CFO either gets upset with me or starts believing he can’t trust me, , , maybe both.

Instead of taking the information to my boss, I give it to the CFO with a recommendation on how we can reduce our postage expense by several thousand dollars a month and without spending a dime.

Now, this is really hard to do, , , the CFO should have been all over this number and seeing we were spending too much for postage. He wasn’t doing his job!

Still, you need to develop partners in key positions of your company and the CFO is definitely a partner you must have as a CIO, , , so take a deep breath and do what you need to do to help him succeed and later on maybe he will do the same for you.

Making others the hero follows my thoughts about being a “giver” versus a “taker”. Early in my career I was definitely a “taker” because I wanted so desperately to be successful, but fortunately with age and experience I learned the real value in giving and how much success it leads to.

Keegan Bradley’s example for all IT managers

You probably have never heard of Keegan Bradley before unless you keep up with golf. Keegan is a rookie on the PGA Tour and he just won one of the four major golf championships this past weekend – the PGA Golf Championship.

What’s more amazing is how he won, , , and it is a great lesson for IT managers.

You see, rookies are supposed to choke on the last day of a major, , , they tend to shoot 75 to 80 on the most pressure packed day of their life when they get into contention on the final day of a major championship. It is exactly what he did the week before at the Firestone tournament.

Not only was he a rookie on tour, , , this was Keegan’s first major golf tournament. This alone made him a most unlikely candidate.

It looked like Keegan would succumb just like so many before him.

The final four holes of Atlanta Athletic Club were touted as maybe the toughest finishing holes in tournament golf, , , ever. Water on three of the four holes with essentially no bail-out options and all very, , , very long holes. Only a few players had played these holes even or under par for the first three days.

On the 15th hole, , , it happened.

Keegan hits a tee shot to what looks like a good safe spot on this treacherous par-3 hole with water to the right of the green. He is just off the green to the left with a downhill chip and it sits deep in the thick Bermuda grass, , , a tough shot.

His chip goes racing across the green and into the water. The net result is he takes a whopping triple bogey 6 and falls five shots behind the leader, Jason Dufner, who is in the group behind him, , , with only three holes to play.

Most believed he had just blown the tournament with one unlucky chip shot.

Not to be, , , Keegan birdies the next two holes while the leader goes bogey, bogey, bogey, , , he picks up five shots in essentially three holes and then wins in a dramatic three-hole playoff.

The lesson, , , don’t give up when disaster strikes. Buckle down and play hard. As Yogi Berra used to put it, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

The PGA Championship this weekend was a great lesson about persevering and getting positive results when you remain focused to the task at hand.