Becoming a manager is easy but achieving a tag of People Manager is equally difficult. Be always ready to accept and face challenges to succeed.To experiment and innovate with cautions is something which has to be used effectively under different circumstances. Be always ready to learn even from your subordinates and believe me, you will cherish it in your life.
Be customer centric:
Every user in your company, regardless of the level, is your customer and has to be treated accordingly. Treat every user in the organisation as if he had the ability to contribute to your development. Believing in this attitude works wonder and that is the most important step (and perhaps the least cared IT management aspect) in shaping yourself as a prospective senior executive, simply because this is scarcely available in IT professionals.
Let your customers have a choice:
Understanding the problem well and offering alternative solutions brings the best result to get your customers agree to one of your solutions.Having patience and the power to convince them is the key here to make your user agreeable to a single but effective solution proposed by you. Not only you must have this attitude but you must also demand the same from your subordinates, with near zero-tolerance principle for bad customer service. Your involvement with your internal customer brings their involvement, thus leading to a high-value based culture. Never forget that you are there not only to manage IT but also to create ethics and values which ultimately form the foundation for you to blossom as a good manager among the managers.
Your accent does matter:
Avoid too heavy technical jargons during your interactions with people in other functions. Not every one can understand your jargons as you can also not understand all their marketing tricks. Any simple communication with not IT people will help them understand the process better. Enjoy a good long discussion with other functions, without discussing much of the technology. Try to understand their problems,functional interests and their expectations from IT solutions. Speak clearly so that they can understand what you want you communicate to them.
Know weak links in your team:
Respect for your subordinates will help reduce turnover and show management that you are a leader (another rarity among IT people). Use your anger wisely to handle difficult people, if the need be. Converting a weak link into a strong one is the ideal approach. Your success depends on your ability to identify three wrongs--intention, person and situation--at an early stage.
Calling up your customers on a regular basis brings a sense of satisfaction among them. Ask them how you and your team are doing and if there is anything you can help them with. Then taste the magic happening for you in the form of songs of praises from your customers as they get floored by your proactive approach. As a technocrat one tends to create hype about the IT solutions, which may generate over expectations from end users, function heads and top managements. Be genuine to generate high expectations rather than over expectations, which otherwise leads you to be a victim to the classic IT pitfall of over committing and under delivering.
A word of caution:
When you under deliver, you not only ensure a frustrating customer experience, but you send a feeler that you are a panic planner. Call a spade a spade when a solution is elusive. If necessary, explaining the facts well might help you to overcome anxiety at the other end. If job is your priority, then never be a part of petty infighting in your company. There are times when nothing works. Learn to adopt new strategies quickly and take calculated risks. Have firm plans to avert the risks expected to come your way. Accept failures as part of your life but only to learn and succeed next time.The success you achieve must be shared with your colleagues, right from top to the bottom of the technology and functional team. Humility in giving credit of your success to the team involved gives a facelift to your attitude towards people. Empowering them with knowledge and delegation makes your team more motivated and work towards organisational goals.
Networking keeps you updated:
“It’s not always what you know but who you know.” Everyone should learn to establish and sustain the relationship with former colleagues, bosses and even vendor representatives. Be active in professional associations, attend good technical/skill enhancement events and workshops which are opportunities to build a great circle of contacts.Functional and individual conflicts are bound to come in your way and you must handle each one differently but effectively. You may fail in your first attempt but to keep attempting is the key to success. And last but not the least, everyone makes a lot of errors in this process but to learn from these to move ahead and not to feel bogged down is equally important. Always keep a well balance between work and life.
Learn to say ‘no’ skilfully when required, instead of over committing and under delivering "