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A leadership role without direct reports. Help or Hinderance?

By RB_ITProfessional ·
Hello all. I would appreciate some feedback on a decision I am trying to make. I have an opportunity to take a leadership role, however it does not involve any direct reports or budgetary control. Would this be a help or a hinderance to my if my goal is to position myself for management at some point. The overall responsibilities of the role would be as follows:

1) Direct and mentor project teams on the use of the new Enterprise Architecture standards for software development

2) Provide mentorship and training on the creation of project artifacts

3) Create and maintain process governance and standards documentation

4) Be a Liason to the Business to help them understrand the new Enterprise Architecture

5) Negotiate with project teams to consolidate work efforts and utilize the common objects that will be created as a part of the new Enterprise Architecture.

I realize that in order to move into management, I will need the people management skills as well as the monetary control aspect. This position offers neither..however I could see some potential for future growth. Any thoughts on this? Any managers out there have any feedback on this?


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Close ...

by higherednerd In reply to A leadership role without ...

The advantages: visibility in a leadership role. But you're right that this is not a management position and that's what you ultimately want.

What is the job title? Many jobs have the title or description of 'manager' tacked on: here's how to tell. How many reports and what is your budget? If the answer to either is zero, look out.

How to parlay this into a management position: primarily by garnering references and contacts while building your credibility as an authoritative figure. The trick is to make a good impression without becoming indispensible in the long term - then you're not promotable, merely employed.

Tech Republic has an article for download on what to do with this and your other stints on your resume:

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Leadership is all about people

by pmoleski In reply to A leadership role without ...

The success of yourself in your new role will be all about how well you communicate with, work with, and can build consensus with the other people affected by the role. I make the assumption that your technical skills are solid or you would not be considered for the role.

Leadership is about having a vision and communicating well enough that others not only share the vision but also will help you achieve the vision. As you have described it, your new role is more about working with people than it is about technology if you are to be successful in it.

Management is similar it terms of having to articulate and build consensus around a shared direction and goals. The role you have been offered would be a natural stepping-stone to a management position in terms of the people skills you will need to develop to be successful in it.

I see one huge caution for you in your comments. If you think that there is no working with people component in this ?Leadership Role? you are been offered then you don?t have a clue what it will take to be successful in the role. I strongly suggest that you find a manager in your company who you can discuss my comments with and act as your mentor if you are going to take on this challenge. However, on the positive side the role will give you the opportunity to develop the people skills you will need to have recognized in order to advance into management later in your career and be successful at it.

In closing, one more time, leadership is about people and your ability to communicate with them.

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Take it for the experience

by ed's burger bar In reply to A leadership role without ...

One of the hardest parts of management is people management. Believe me you can live without it. Managing people is like looking after big children.
Your role sounds great, a sort of programme office role. You can always move to a different role that involves people management later, once you have built up other management skills.

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by The Admiral In reply to A leadership role without ...

There is a golden rule that I have gotten to learn. If it says direct and plan, it is good. If it says manage and maintain and refers to technology, it is a techie position.

I move toward directing and planning versus managing and maintaining in a heartbeat.

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Power of influence...

by PMin_isFun In reply to A leadership role without ...

I have been in a similar role, albeit, well positioned for well over a year now. Prior to that, I had a staff and a budget. One thing I have come to realize is that the critical ability to influence is not really tested until you land in the role of individual contributor. I would embrace the opportunity and look at the opportunities it will open for you. Have fun with it!

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Leadership is leadership

by mlitle In reply to A leadership role without ...

The only reason this wouldn't help you achieve your goals sooner is if there is a management position available now that you qualify for. When I have hired managers in the past, I want someone to be determined, coachable and have demonstrated similar skills in the past. This position sounds like on opportunity to demonstrate project and relationship management, as well as to set goals for the people you influence and help them achieve those (even if they are not your direct reports). The trick is to make the most out of this opportunity, really make the experience count. Bone up on coaching successful teams, performance and development, personality types and their motivators. This will help you be successful and also give you speaking points as to how you used "your management skills" to be more successful in this position. That is quality material for future interviews.

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You're in the "sweet spot"

by sersoft In reply to A leadership role without ...


From my perspective you appear to be in-line to land an optimal postion in an IT organization.

I just recently stepped down from an IT Diretor position at a computer hardware manufacturing company. It was a thankless job. However, while in that position, the roles that I most enjoyed are those 5 roles that you outlined.

The roles that I I liked least are those that you will be isolated from in your "Staff" position. Things such as budget preparations, preparing and delivering performance reviews, departmental adminstration and senior management interference have a tendency to "get in the way" of IT reponsibilities.

As for people skills, those are mostly acquired through the use of "common sense" and being a genuine person yourself. All the things that motrivate and inspire you are the same things that motivate and inspire others. All the things that frustrate and hinder you will do the same to others. I suspect that if you're a good people person then you needn't worry much about acquiring people management skills.

My recommendation? Take the job. It will be a major stepping stone to a future in management! If the Business created this position then you are one lucky IT guy as they obviously "want" to move in the right technical direction.


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A Dream Job for Some

by junnilad In reply to A leadership role without ...

1)You have a great opportunity to succeed in a position like this?bridging and bringing different business cultures together and help them deliver business solutions. WOW, how cool!

2)You will have all the people skills/management you?d ever require. You state mentoring as one of the primary roles. That is exactly what a good manager?s primary responsibility is; to mentor.

3)Being a bridge between disparate teams to bring a single technology into play will have you being involved in budgets. I don?t see any other way around it. Plus as this liaison, you are going to have to maintain some budgetary requirements and work with the fiscal officer.

Though I agree in ways you are not directly managing people and budgets, this may be a blessing?you ARE doing it through your described job description. This being true, you need to realize that you will gain the necessary skills you desire and get that next position. Remember, no promotion comes without being able to take your skills and summarize them into tangibles, in this case, management of individuals and budgets. Another way to look at it is the other managers in your organization will not have the planning, negotiation and team building skills you do; you are changing corporate culture?not just a business unit or division?s culture.

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been there, done that, seen others in it.

by peter@... In reply to A leadership role without ...

Sounds like the organization wants to create Subject Matter Experts (SMEs and pronounced Smees) and you are (already) such a creature. Congrats! But take a look at the volatility of the organization as well. If the industry is subject to merger's and acquisitions (M&As), you may find someone latter on taking over who either don't beleive in this style. As such, their existing managers may already be functioning as SME's to their own organizations, in which case you may be deemed expendable, forcing you to go on the hunt for place to contribute (before the axe falls).
Even if that doesn't happen, find out what the manager plans on doing to ensure that if given a project you will be given the authority to operate and have your decisions count (matrixed organized project management). And, finally, as an SME, you need management support to market and even force the standing organizations respect for your "advice", lest you become the "voice crying in the wilderness", and not the "old man of the mountain."

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Go for it

by GraphicsGuy In reply to A leadership role without ...

Yes, it sounds like a position of "responsibility without authority", but it sounds more like a step forward. Mastering planning and task coordination is a crucial step towards management. You have already outlined a plan. The real question may be "is this what you want?".

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