Nearly everyone in IT has, at some point, been in support. Even if you never worked on a help desk, you probably had to support an application, infrastructure, or at least your mother's desktop machine. No matter who you are, you've been on the receiving end of phone calls from people asking for technical help.
Stories by Paul Glen
In my years as an IT management consultant, I've had the opportunity to ask one simple question of a wide variety of managers -- seasoned and new, at large organizations and small; in the private sector, government and educational settings; and in numerous countries around the world. And the answers have been remarkably consistent, with rare exceptions.
I've been privileged to meet IT professionals around the world, and I'm always struck by their many fine qualities. One of the most common of these is the desire to help others. As a group, IT people believe in progress and hold that technology can be an important part of making people's lives better. At work, we like to see that our products contribute to the efficiency, effectiveness and happiness of users and consumers.
The New Year is always a good time to reflect on your career: where you've been, where you're heading, and where you'd like to go. It's also the traditional time for people like me -- industry analysts, pundits and consultants -- to tell you what hot skills you'll need to develop to advance your career in the next year. Of course, if developing your career were really that simple, every reader would be the CEO of a company by now.
To get your projects done, you'll need to motivate your people to perform, no matter where their loyalties lie.
While you oftentimes just have to live with whatever it is you don't like, some situations call for a more forceful reaction.
As managers, we all get caught up in the daily exigencies of the job. Subordinates constantly ask for or need direction. Bosses demand status updates and results. Clients and users want us to make their work easier or even possible. When your days seem like a blizzard of interruptions, are you ever able to do anything that might make a long-term difference?
“Excuse me?” I said to my new boss with barely concealed incredulity.
“You shouldn’t thank your people for just doing their jobs. That’s what the paycheck is for.”