Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Leaders Need To Lead By Example

This image depicts what I often preach... Leaders need to lead. As obvious as this sounds, many I.T. managers fail in this.

* Cannot attribute since original source of image unknown.

In a past job of mine several years ago, one of the product development teams had some crazy deadlines. Developers were expected to work long hours and weekends. One day, I witnessed the Director of Software Development kindly/humbly/sadly asking his staff if they could work that weekend to close out some critical defects. Despite the fact that it sucked for everyone, as it was their fourth weekend in a row working, the group was responsible enough and aware of the deadlines and pressures, and hence agreed (albeit semi-reluctantly).

What of the Director?

He hadn't planned on showing up to the office that weekend. After all, what value could he have added? Nothing.

That's when I talked to him behind closed doors. I asked him, "How would you feel if you were slaving away at the office while your boss was at home enjoying a good meal and watching some TV?" He got the point. I told him he simply needed to be there. Stay out of their way. Order food for them. Say hello. But just be there in the office. If they lost another weekend, the boss lost one too.

I'm sure there are many stories all of you can share, but here's to hoping that our future leaders don't forget how it's like being one of the grunts on the ground.

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