Ostensibly, the person placed in charge of IT support is managing that IT support. In reality, that person could just be going through the motions, day in and day out, maintaining the status quo and otherwise not managing much of anything. In a post at his blog, Noel Bruton explains why this is such a serious problem and what can be done to nurture IT heads into real leaders.
Take the Reins Back
The attitude for technicians now and management later is a large part of the problem. Departments need to be led by those who possess leadership skills; when no one is adequately managing, things tend to not get done. Projects get shelved or the department falls behind in the innovation track. These are insurmountable problems that cannot simply be avoided because the head of the department does not exude management material.
This translates into an incredibly terrible thing for the manager because this is killing their reputation. Part of their job is to lead their department and make decisions, so they need to do so. It is also bad for the staff because they will never be pushed to reach their full potential and will be stuck in a constant loop of “good enough.” This is not only bad for their career growth, but also their view of themselves.
The organization will suffer just as much as the individual people. The organization established a vision in its beginning, and when it does not fulfill this vision because of the failing of a department, the organization is failing in its vision.
All hope is not lost though and this problem can be altered. The manager who is actually not managing–the author hypothetically refers to this person as “Fred”–should not just be told to “do” things. Instead, encourage Fred to follow his instincts and develop techniques naturally over time that help him run IT support. Once he has done that, perhaps then he can look at what other great managers have done and learn from their excellence too.
But before anything else, there needs to be established context–why has Fred put himself into this situation? The answer to this question holds the key to unlocking Fred’s potential. Perhaps he simply needs more training or maybe his boss is not delegating authority properly, causing Fred to be unable to perform his job because he has to manage his own boss. Whatever the problem, Fred needs to buckle down and work out what it means to him to be a manager and how he is going to implement these goals.
You can read the original post here: https://noelbruton.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/when-freds-not-really-in-charge/