Tag Archives: mike sisco

Manager Takeaways From Tiger Woods’ 5th Masters Win

Tiger Woods may have just completed the greatest comeback in the history of sports. His 5th Green Jacket win at the 83rd Masters has some great management principles worth noting.

Observing things and learning how they can apply to success and management is something I’ve been doing my entire career. This year’s Masters Tournament has some valuable lessons.

Background
Just a year ago at this time the sports analysts were saying, “Tiger may not win again, and he probably will not win another major championship.” My, how much things can change in a year.

Tiger had not won a Masters since 2005 and his last Major win was the U.S. Open in 2008. Health issues leading to four back  surgeries literally crippled the greatest golfer of our time. Eleven years of mediocre play, recovery after recovery, and challenges we probably don’t even know about would be real reasons for most to question any possibility for major success in Tiger’s future.

It was almost prophetic for Tiger to be awarded the Ben Hogan Award for the “best comeback on the PGA Tour” on the evening before the first day of play in this year’s Masters. It was a sign of things to come, I think.

His win at this year’s Masters was somewhat predictable if you look at the trend of his play in the recent tournaments that are  most important on the PGA Tour:
–  2018 Masters*                   T32
–  2018 U.S. Open*             Missed Cut
–  2018 British Open*             T6
–  2018 PGA Championship*          2
–  2018 PGA Tour Championship     Won

* (Major Championships)

Tiger was in contention the back nine of the last round in each of the last two majors plus he won the Tour Championship at the end of the year. His progression was like an army on a force march to the next battle. Even so, the pundits were still questioning his ability to win another major before the start of this year’s Masters.

David Duval, a golf analyst on the Golf Channel and former #1 player in the world, got it right. He picked Tiger to win this year’s Masters Tournament based upon Tiger’s demeanor and how he was going about things. It was not completely about how well he was playing although that was certainly part of it. David’s explanation was that Tiger had the look again and seemed calm, diligent, and with purpose in what he was doing. If you watched the tournament, you could definitely see it.

A key point with this is that your IT Organization’s success is dependent upon how you and your team go about your business as much as what you do. It’s not all about doing things technically correct. Soft skills and communicating effectively make huge differences with your IT support clients.

6 Takeaways from Tiger’s Masters win
There are 6 things I got out of Tiger’s miraculous win that I think are worth noting because they can be beneficial for IT managers to be aware of and appreciate.

1.  Plan – Tiger had a plan. Well, “That sounds obvious!”, you might say. Most players have a game plan going into a tournament. Tiger’s plan was pretty simple and ultimately comes down to this:

  1. Keep the ball below the hole. (Augusta National greens are notoriously fast and putting from below the hole lets you be more aggressive.)
  2. Put the ball in the right spots on drives, iron shots, even on long putts. If you miss, miss it in areas that give you better odds of recovery.

Takeaway:  For IT managers to succeed, you have to have a plan. Those who plan achieve more success.

2.  Preparation – Tiger prepared even when you might not have realized it. In the few tournaments he played leading up to the Masters, he worked on specific shots that he knew would be important at Augusta National. Things like drawing and fading a driver off the tee and moving the ball left or right and high or low as required with his irons. . . in tournament pressure situations . He has been preparing for this tournament since winning the Tour Championship last September.

Takeaway:  Preparation is key to success. Teaching your employees how to prepare and what to prepare for will help your IT organization achieve more success. When they succeed, you can succeed.

3.  Experience – Tiger had to regain the experience of winning. He had to relearn how it feels to be in contention on the final afternoon of a major. He did that with the British Open and PGA Championship last year, then winning the Tour Championship boosted his confidence to a point that he knew he could win major championships again.

Takeaway:  Experience is critical for success and confidence comes with small wins that lead to bigger wins. It’s all about the process of doing the right things that lead to success.

4.  Knowledge – Knowledge and experience played a huge part in Tiger’s win. His knowledge of his game and how he was playing plus considerable knowledge of Augusta National’s course and the greens were big advantages for Tiger in my opinion. He also reinforced within himself to remain patient throughout the tournament, something that’s hard for most of us to do. Even when things were not going as well as planned, Tiger remained patient and stayed confident about the good things that were to come if he kept doing the “right things”.

Takeaway:  In IT, we must gain the knowledge of what is required to support the business so we are in sync with what the business needs and positioned to deliver business value for our clients. It’s not all about technology. Our IT success is dependent upon understanding the business.

5.  Focus – If you watched the tournament, you saw Tiger focused like a laser. One of the scenes I loved was when Tiger and Rory McIlroy were practicing in a bunker side by side on the 2nd day. Rory kept glancing over at Tiger, but Tiger never once looked away from what he was focusing on. He was like that on the course as well, truly focused on what he and he alone was doing.

Takeaway:  IT employees can’t focus if their manager doesn’t provide the focus. Let me rephrase this a bit. Employees will focus on what they think is important; it’s up to IT managers to help insure their focus is targeted appropriately.

6.  Positive thinking – Tiger Woods has a huge capacity for thinking positively. Just listen to his press interviews and you pick it up immediately. I think this has a lot to do with how his Mom and Dad raised him; it’s part of who he is. In one interview after a round where he missed several short putts, he was asked about his putting. His response was,  “My lines are good and as long as I’m leaving myself below the hole like I have been, I’ll be ok.”. . . meaning, he was hitting the putts on his intended line but they just weren’t going in due to speed or a misread. Because he was putting uphill, he didn’t 3-putt much.

Takeaway:  This is key! As long as you are doing the right things and making your best efforts, ultimately you will be successful. It may take a while and you may fail several times before you reach that success, but if you are patient and persevere in continuing to do the right things success will find you.

I can hardly wait to see how golf’s next major championship unfolds and learn from it.

2018 IT Manager Training Schedule

I’m excited about the training we have lined up for 2018. Take a look at the schedule to the right and click on the image to learn more about this year’s training.

GOLD MEMBERS receive new training every month plus access to over 100 recorded classes and our entire IT Manager Resources Library. Check it out at: http://itmanagerstore.com/member.

Coach employees the fundamentals of IT support

Excellent client service does not happen on its own. It happens because IT managers create the proper environment and teach their IT employees what is required to deliver effective client service.

 

A big part of a manager’s job is teaching and coaching. It doesn’t matter if you are on a sports team or in a professional IT support environment.

 

Good managers coach and reinforce the fundamentals of what it takes to be successful. They teach at the individual level to help each employee succeed. When individuals succeed collectively, the team succeeds.

 

What are IT support fundamentals?

Well, my list is pretty simple as you might expect. They include the following:

 

1.  Follow-up  –  This is one of the most important of all traits we need. Simply put, when something is committed to a client, our staff needs to follow-up and close out their promise. In other words, “Do what you say you will do.”

 

2.  Communicate effectively  –   IT people tend to lack good communication skills. It’s important for you to coach your employees on what and how to communicate with our clients, senior management, and each other.

 

3.  Project management  –  Delivering  projects successfully is how IT organizations achieve credibility. You may need to teach your employees how to work on projects or how to manage them. In fact, you may need to create a project management culture if it does not exist.

 

4.  Quality  –  We want our employees to do the job right and to do their tasks completely, , , high quality. Finish the job and do the work once by doing it right.

 

5.  Productivity  –  At the end of the day, how much an employee accomplishes is as important as how well they do something. Time management is essential and is a great coaching opportunity.

 

6.  Professional conduct  –  “Dress for success!”, they say. Coach employees how to conduct themselves at work and understanding the importance of looking professionally is very important for IT success.

 

7.  Being on time  –  Seems like a small point but it’s a major issue. Being on time for meetings, completing tasks and other commitments on time says a lot about you as an individual and an IT organization.

 

8.  Be conservative  –  When making a commitment, be conservative so you can “over deliver”. No one gets upset if we complete the work earlier or less costly than expected.

 

9.  Teamwork  –  Whether working with a client or with other IT employees, we are all on the same team. Respect for one another and working together as a team is an absolute requirement to achieve success.

 

10.  Positive attitude  –  People who have positive “can do” attitudes achieve higher levels of success than those who do not. IT managers must not only coach this but they need to lead by example and become the IT organization’s best cheerleader.

 

Don’t assume your employees understand all of these fundamentals.

 

Professional sports team coaches constantly teach and reinforce the fundamentals of a player’s position with them, , , and these guys have been playing the sport for years.

 

What you see consistently is that teams who execute the fundamentals of their sport the best are the winners.

 

Instill the fundamentals of IT support within each of your IT employees and your IT organization will achieve many successes.

IT Manager Institute and ITBMC Program Overview

it-manager-institute-overview_start

CLICK HERE or on the image above to watch the video.

As I enter the 17th year of my company I’m excited about the emphasis on IT manager training we have planned this year. The IT Manager Institute has been a very successful program that we offer in three formats:
1. Classroom
2. Webinar
3. Online Self Study

The IT Manager Institute and ITBMC Certification Program is one of the fastest and most effective ways to develop critical IT management skills. If you want specific instruction on how to succeed and fast results, the IT Manager Institute is what you need.

The program follows a simple IT Management Process™ and provides tools and insights that can be used immediately to help IT managers of all levels achieve more™ success.

My training is practical, straightforward and to the point on how to achieve IT manager success. I teach you:
– What you need to do
– How to go about it
– Tools and examples you can use immediately

itbmcOver 1,000 IT managers from all parts of the world have attended the program in either classroom, webinar, or online Self Study with 100% positive feedback. The reason is simple: our processes and tools are practical, easy to use, and they work in the real world.

Attain ITBMC status and you will demonstrate a method of management that sets you apart from other IT managers and will help you achieve more success.

There is NO THEORY in this program. Every process and tool was created by me to help me organize, monitor and manage IT organizations in real companies. I have translated over 20 years of IT management experience into some of the most practical training for IT managers in the industry.

Check out the IT Manager Institute for yourself at:
http://itmanagerinstitute.com/training/agenda/

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2017 IT Manager Training Schedule

We have scheduled a big year of training, and I have reduced travel to be able to deliver much more online training this year. Check out our 2017 schedule below:

_training-schedule-2017

2017 New Year Message from Mike Sisco

Click image to view video

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Announcement – New IT Manager Training

_training-schedule-2016Our company is entering into a new phase of growth and it includes significant more focus on IT manager training.

We will deliver new training every month on a variety of topics that “help IT managers of the world achieve more success“.

Check out our Fall 2016 Schedule  —————>

MDE Enterprises, Inc.
itmanagerinstitute.com/training

2017 Schedule
will be posted soon!

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76th IT Manager Institute

We held the 76th IT Manager Institute at Graymere Country Club in Columbia, TN. Another great class.

institute_76_sep-2016

IT Manager Institute headed to Dubai and Accra

We have two new IT Manager Institute classes coming up:
– Dubai (May 22-24, 2016)
– Accra, Ghana (June 13-17, 2016)

Take a look at the short video for information.

Assign a paparazzi to your IT team

PhotographerYou should assign a paparazzi to your IT team and start documenting your journey. You may not realize it, but right now may be one of the best work experiences in your entire career.

There are three companies I look back upon in my career and think of them as my best experiences. Much of what made these situations special has to do with the people I worked with, part of it was the type of work we were doing, and some of it was even the client experiences.

There are two things I wish I had done earlier in my career:

  1. Kept a journal
  2. Taken more photos

No excuse for not keeping a journal, , , just didn’t think about it back then. Wish I had because there were many memorable moments that I know would be worth remembering now.

I keep two journals now, , , one for business and one that’s personal. I don’t write in them every day but try to capture important events and a few things I think will be worth remembering when I’m in my 80’s and 90’s. 🙂

On the photos issue, I do have a reason for lacking more photos. Early in my career we had to use film, , , digital cameras were not around yet. So, the hard copy photos I have are far and few between and many have been lost over time. Digital is so much better. Wish we had digital cameras when I was a kid!

When I stumble upon a hard copy photo from my early career, it usually brings back good memories, , , like the one below.

Mike_BryanThis is Bryan Hathcock, my first IBM manager and one of the best managers I’ve ever worked for, awarding me a $20 gold coin for helping sell the most IBM software applications during a contest period. I remember working hard to help my primary Sales Rep, Jim Cockerham, focus on this objective. Jim is also in the photo (far left) and just seeing Jim and Bryan brings back so many great memories of my “IBM days”. Note the wide tie and jet black hair!

I st$20_Gold_Coinill have my $20 gold coin which is now worth more than $1,000.

I talked to Bryan just last week which may have prompted me to think about writing this post. He is in his 80’s now but hasn’t changed a lot. Hoping to stop by and visit him when I’m in Atlanta in April for our niece’s wedding and share some memories.

Back to the paparazzi idea, , , why do I recommend you assign a paparazzi and start taking photos? Well, there are several reasons:

  • Capturing memories at work may be appreciated later in your life. Like I said, these times may be some of the best you will experience in  your career.
  • Develop slideshows with high energy background music for some of your IT staff meetings, , , especially if you do an annual IT Kickoff Meeting. Your employees like to see themselves on “the big screen” in a slide show. Trust me, it’s great motivational material in a staff meeting. How do I know? Simple, I’ve been an employee and liked it and I’ve also seen it work great with employees who have worked for me.
  • It’s fun, , , and having fun at work from time to time is beneficial for both you and your employees.

In each of my IT Manager Institute classes I assign a paparazzi on the first day to take photos during the class. At the end of the class I give students a flash drive that contains IT management resources plus a file of all the class photos taken during the week. Some of them are truly memorable like the ones below:

CoinsDubai Institute managers showing off their MDE/IT Manager Institute coins

Institute-Tanner_Sep2014-2Tanner Medical managers in a fun class photo

IT Manager Institute - DubaiClass photo of one of my favorite Dubai Institute classes – October 2012
I have delivered 16 IT Manager Institutes in Dubai through 2015
I’m standing next to our paparazzi, Mohammed Abu Deeb from Saudi Arabia

kickoff_photosA small class but what a great group!!! I stay in contact with several of them.

kickoff_6Monika really enjoyed this desert!

18bEd presents Heitor a “Dead Chicken Award” – lots of laughs!

21cLjubljana Institute managers in our “Blues Brothers” pose

21bI’m 5’10” tall, , , Matej and Timor are 7′ tall – material for a memorable photo

institute39-bLagos Nigeria class presents me a painting that now hangs in my home office

Call me sentimental or foolish, but I like to reminisce and remember some of the “fun times” in my career. As you get older, you may discover it happens with you as well.

What type of photos do you want your IT paparazzi to capture? Good question, I recommend the following but don’t limit it to just my ideas:

  • Company events
  • Awards
  • IT employees at work
  • IT employees with your clients (Managers and Users)
  • Meetings
  • Off-site events
  • Cameo or ad hoc photos of your employees

Be creative and have some fun with the process, , , it really does not take a lot of time or effort.

photagrapher_2Take advantage of the motivational aspect work photos give you during IT staff meetings; I think you will find it has much more impact than you believe it will. Over time you will amass quite a library of photos that can be special to show your people “scenes of the past”.

SMILE, , , you are on Candid Camera !!