Leading techniqiues

Leadership is about motivating and inspiring your IT team to produce extraordinary results, despite the chaos resulting from unprecedented business change going on in most organizations today. Here are five techniques to help you lead and develop a high performance IT team to expedite business results.Relationship Building. Over the past 10 years, I’ve been using the well-researched Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator as a leadership development, relationship building, and team- building tool. The research indicates that there are 16 different personality types that will tend to show up in a variety of obvious and subtle ways.

The two fundamental differences in personality types are: how people “prefer to collect information” and how people “prefer to make decisions.” Once you notice a pattern, the key to relationship building is to adapt to the other person’s personality type, not to remain in your own “perfect” personality type.

Role Clarity. I’ve found that “lack of role clarity” is the biggest obstacle to individual and team performance. In other words, in the absence of role clarity, people are “putting in time” instead of focusing on delivering key results. And, people are either “getting into conflict” or “trying to avoid conflict” with others instead of focusing on delivering key results. Once role clarity is established, the alignment of key results is necessary to help focus individuals and to help set priorities. And, this information needs to be shared with everyone on the team to foster collaboration, minimize conflict, and prevent “silo behaviour”.

Time Management. I often hear my IT clients say: “I’m in the swamp and I don’t know how to get out.” Success is NOT about getting everything done. It’s about focusing on high impact and high priority results. This is an on-going process of prioritization involving your direct reports during both in-dividual and team meetings.

Have you done an analysis of how you are spending your time and what you need to change to “get out of the swamp”?

Team Meeting Productivity.

Consider reducing your team meeting time by 50% to im-prove meeting productivity. High performance teams manage meetings well by planning meetings to ensure that agenda items are tied to key results and that most information sharing is done prior to team meetings.

When I facilitate team meet-ings and retreats, my first three questions are always: “What are your key challenges? What are the ideal outcomes? What’s the value of these outcomes to the organization?”

Life Balance. I’ve often heard: “My boss gets in at 6am and doesn’t leave until 7pm every day so I guess he expects me to do the same.” Consider sharing your views and expectations re-lated to life balance with the people on your team. This will help people “feel at choice” instead of “feel resentment

toward you” based on incorrect assumptions.

What are you doing to enjoy your life, further your learning, and spend fun time with your family and friends? I ask my CIO coaching clients the following question: “Are you getting what you want out of life?” If the answer to that is “no”, I know that performance is suffering and so are the people around them.

Dr. Nancy MacKay is a Vancouver-based consultant, executive coach, speaker and professor at Simon Fraser University.

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