18. Oct, 2017

Making best use of your capabilities ...

The story about Talent Stack and the Simon Sinek quotes remind me about my own start as a manager back in the last millennium 😉. Some more quotes first:

A leader's job is not to do the work for others, it's to help others figure out how to do it themselves, to get things done, and to succeed beyond what they thought possible. Simon Sinek, English - Author Born: October 9, 1973

The challenge of the unknown future is so much more exciting than the stories of the accomplished past. Simon Sinek

The quality of a leader cannot be judged by the answers he gives, but by the questions he asks. Simon Sinek

When I was doing a large deployment project still working for Engineering back in 1998, my project sponsor did come to me one day and asked, if I would be interested to join the European IT team as a Manager. As this was a great opportunity and showed a lot of trust in my capabilities, I took the offer and was responsible for a team of 40+ people some weeks later. So far I had no direct people management experience, just being responsible for the technical direction of my project teams.  

As the European IT team was in the middle of a restructuring phase getting a new senior management direction, all new and existing managers had to go through a 360 degree feedback loop and a several hour interview with a psychologist. In summary he basically told me that I would never be successful in a management position due to missing skills and expertise.

Looking back to my last 18 years as IT Manager I can say, he was wrong and I could proof the opposite. My teams, peers and supervisors were mostly happy with me and my take on the manager, sometimes even leader role. I would summarize my talent stack as follows:

  • Being a more introvert kind of guy, a good listener, not jumping to conclusions too quickly
  • Having a good and broad technical background, but not too deep to get in conflict with the experts
  • Learning from good managers and leaders and stealing their best practices with pride
  • Finding better solutions for BAD practices and all the behavior I did not like
  • Asking unexpected questions and trying to surprise people with different approaches and solutions
  • Treating people with trust and dignity, keeping diversity up and making positive use of cultural differences 
  • Developing talent and promoting them into better positions for their best interest
  • Always being available when my help, support and opinion was required
  • Creating awareness of weak points and further develop strength of my teams and team members
  • Being a positive and optimistic guy, liking what I did in the past and do right now

Make best use of your talent stack as well and in most cases the right combination of the available skills will do the trick 🙂👍.