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David Ratcliffe, President, Pink Elephant

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    Thursday, March 14, 2013

    The WHATs and HOWs Of A Great IT Service Management Leader?

    There are two types of leaders:

    1. The Designated Leader - who has been appointed or promoted into the position.

    2. The Self-Empowered Leader - who is not in a position of authority the same as A “Designated Leader”, but who demonstrates many of the qualities of a good leader.

    I’ve talked about Self-Empowered Leaders in an earlier post. And if you’ve been following what I’ve said and written over the past couple of years you’ll know that the concept of “Self-Empowerment” is close to my heart.

    Today, however, I want to focus on Designated Leaders. Designated Leaders in IT Service Management will usually have a title such as CIO or Director. They may even be the head of a more discrete team or project.

    No matter what their title, this is WHAT we need from our Designated Leaders:

    • Understanding of the greater goals of the organization, division or department. These “greater goals” are those which this Leader’s team have to support.
    • Definition of relevant goals for their team. Whether it’s the whole of IT or a discrete team within IT - the Leader’s team needs to have their own objectives.
    • A focus on the future - what it looks like and how we get there.
    • Definition of the strategies and approaches to be adopted to achieve goals.
    • Ability to clearly explain goals & strategies. Not just what they are, but why they’re important.
    • Continual re-explanation and reinforcement of goals & strategies on a frequent basis.
    • Provision of capabilities (resources) to the team. This includes funding, tools, knowledge & skills and time.

    And these are the traits we need to observe in HOW our Designated Leaders go about their business:

    • Honesty - telling the truth and not sugar-coating bad news.
    • Integrity - walking the talk.
    • Reliability - being available when needed, and providing consistent direction.
    • Being true to their values and always doing the right thing.
    • Showing a positive, confident and optimistic attitude.
    • Determined and persistent - sticking to the task when the going gets tough.
    • Inspiring and empowering others to act.

    If the Leader can deliver on all of the above then they’ll generate trust, confidence and the respect of all they interact with - not only subordinates but also peers and higher-ups.

    At Pink we’re considering how we can recognize the great leaders in our industry (watch out for more on this very soon). One thing’s for sure - anyone gaining recognition as a great ITSM leader has to have a profile that covers most of the WHATs and HOWs I’ve just outlined.

    (2) Comments
    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 03/14 at 01:26 PM
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