Julia Raue’s pointers for building a great career, a strong team
Know your role. Learn, learn, learn your role, understand the key triggers, the key systems, the key stakeholders, she advises. “If it is a delivery portfolio, I understood firstly the initiatives I am to deliver, the problems they set to solve, the business they will support, what the deliverables are, the milestones and the financials,” she says.
For a production or support role, understand what are the key systems and the core requirements.
Build strong relationships. This applies to both your team members and stakeholders. Raue advises adopting a management style that suits our personality and style.
Identify mentors. They could be because of their business knowledge, their negotiation style, their ability to build and maintain relationship, or build great teams. “Watch and learn from them.” Raue suggests thinking about who is the best in the field for an area and understand what drives them, how they are successful and what you can learn from them.
Build a strong team. She says if you know there are skills you are not strong in, make sure that someone in your team has them.
Always trust your gut. “A good leader makes strong decisions — you are there to remove barriers for them.”
If you are not sure about something, then check and double-check the details, discuss it with other people. If you are still unsure, sleep on it, she says. “There is usually a reason why a decision is difficult.”
Be there for the business. “The best way to understand your business is to spend time in your business,” says Raue. “Sit on the help desk, spend time with the call centre agents and in operations.” At Air New Zealand, members of the executive team work in various areas, including baggage handling, cargo and flight crew duties.
Get regular feedback. It is important for people to know whether they are or are not on track. At the same time, she says, it is important to ask people for feedback. “Don’t guess,” she says. Applying this to a wider context, Raue welcomes feedback from the public on the ICT enabled projects at Air New Zealand. She is unperturbed about negative feedback posted on social networking sites, because this provides an opportunity for change or at least to consider the points raised by the customer.
Take care of your team. Provide training, development and growth opportunities. Once they have these, she says, arm them with the tools they need to get the next job done.
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