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.

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