CXO

My best tips for leading an IT department to success

10 thingsI've put some of my best leadership tips into a new article called "10 tips for leading your team to peak performance." As I mention at the top of the article, these tips are aimed at leaders who are managing knowledge workers and/or project managers, so keep that in mind when you're reading it. 

Here are a couple tips from the article:

#1: Focus on results and productivity and not the time clock

When you manage salaried knowledge workers, you should almost never have rigid clock-in/clock-out times unless there is a coverage issue in relation to serving customers (e.g., maintaining adequate help desk coverage during call hours). Instead, set clear goals that you know should take your employees about 40 hours/week to accomplish. Require that they show up on time for important meetings and are available during the team's general working hours. Provide them with the tools to access their work remotely, when needed. Then let them manage their own time. This sends the message that you trust your employees. If you've got people you don't trust, that's another issue. Manage them up until you do trust them or manage them out to their next opportunity.

#8: Foster innovation by killing projects the right way

Another important part of fostering innovation is knowing how to kill projects effectively and gracefully. There are times when failed initiatives will expose the weaknesses of certain employees, but there are plenty of times when you have good employees working on projects that simply don't pan out. Figuring out the difference between those two scenarios is part of becoming a good manager. If it's a good person on a bad project, the person who was running the project isn't any less talented because the project didn't materialize. So, make sure you use the project as a learning experience and reassign the person to something new without excessive hand-wringing. Otherwise, you will make your employees overly risk-averse, and they will be reluctant to jump into the next big project or to make bold moves when managing the project. That type of atmosphere can quickly stifle progress. 

Read the rest of the article or download it as a PDF, then jump in the discussion to add your best leadership tips. 

About Jason Hiner

Jason Hiner is Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.

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