There are many quotes and sayings that strongly suggest or quietly allude to how you think about things today can have a profound effect on your future reality. These sayings include:
- “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” (Henry Ford)
- “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)
- “In the long term the most important question for a company is not what you are but what you are becoming.” (Gary Hamel)
- “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Peter F. Drucker
What these quotes and quotes like them teach us is that each one of us has great power to shape our personal futures, the future of the companies we run, and potentially, the future of the department we manage within the company were we are employed.
As an IT Manager within a company, big thinking is relative to the current state of your department, and your department’s role within the company. Thinking big may be something as seemingly simple as reducing processing errors, increasing productivity by a specified percent, or providing your customers with an incremental improvement in customer service. It could also be something as grandiose as helping to accelerate company growth or implement a major reduction in processing costs. The important thing is that the goal you select stretches the people in your department in a way that is:
- Challenging, but realistic to attain
- Conceptually appropriate, given your department’s charter
- Something of true value to your company and/or customers
- Supported by the people working within your group
This type of thinking can have a very positive effect on your department as a whole, the people on your team, and for you personally.
Regarding your department, this type of thinking can be used as the catalyst needed to drive new initiatives, correct currently existing department problems, or maximize department efficiency.
The rollout and successful completion of department-stretching projects can also provide great value to the people working within your department in the following ways:
- Widen your team’s work experience and professional growth
- Provide great accomplishments to be listed on people’s resumes
- Create your team with visibility within the company, thus helping to facilitate potential promotion possibilities for your team members
Lastly, thinking big can be of enormous value to your professional career by:
- Showcasing your abilities to conceive and drive department initiatives
- Illustrating that you are a self-starter
- Getting the notice of upper management by continually increasing the value provided by your department
- Showing your leadership ability
- Building the accomplishment section of your resume
- Gaining a reputation of being able to get things done
- Building your reputation as good person to have as a manager. This will not only be recognized by your peers and senior management, but it will also make it easier for you to hire internal transfers, people already working within the company.
Over time, this type of professional reputation, combined with a strong track record of successful project/initiative completion, has the potential of opening many professional doors. There is, of course, the possibility of a promotion within your current company. There are also, however, many scenarios for promotion outside your current employer. People on your current team may leave for other companies and spread the word that you are a great manager. A senior manager at your firm may leave for a competitor and call you with an opportunity that is too good to resist.
With the advent of social media tools, like LinkedIn, it’s easy to find and keep track of the people you like. If you’re good, the word will get around.
Until next time, lead well, always communicate, and think business first and technology second.