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Move to Management: Give Your Team Credit

Matthew Moran / InformIT

Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

I often hear people complain about their manager taking credit for their work. Although I have rarely seen this in practice, I know it exists. A good manager gives more credit to his staff than he takes himself. He understands that his ability to create high producers is what he is held accountable for.

IT Career Builder's Toolkit, The

This chapter is from the book
IT Career Builder’s Toolkit, The

Promote Your Team and Its Members

Career development necessarily includes some self-promotion. In a management role, however, promoting your team is of far greater value. Doing so accomplishes several objectives:

  • Your team is held in higher esteem As a manager, your success is largely gauged on your group as a whole. If you promote your team—their strengths and their accomplishments—your team will be viewed as stronger. A stronger team is looked to for better projects. This can end up being self-perpetuating. As you solve more problems, you get the better problems to solve.

  • Your team members develop loyalty My son had a teacher who was emotional and, at times, bitter. Eventually we moved him to the only other available teacher. The teacher we moved him to was known as the strictest teacher in the school. Later, knowing how strict she was, I asked my son if he was happier in his class.

    “Yes,” he replied.

    “But isn’t she strict?”

    “Dad,” he replied, “she’s strict, but she’s fair.”

    A hard/demanding boss, one who pushes his staff but is fair and promotes his team’s successes, is typically okay to work for. You know that you are required to work and to achieve, but you also know that your manager will go to the mat for you and recognize your contribution. This creates loyalty.

Foster an Environment That Allows for (Even Celebrates) Failure

To create the type of environment in which innovation and creativity flourish and where people take initiative, you must allow for and even celebrate failure. The fear of failure is the single greatest hindrance to initiative and innovation.

When staff members are afraid to take calculated risk because of fear of repercussions, they are unlikely to push for new and innovative solutions. Creating innovation is necessarily risky. If you are to have a department and team that are viewed as innovative, you and your staff must be able to fail with some degree of safety.

Of course, this does not mean or require you to allow for foolish and blatantly risky projects. Putting a company’s data or operations at risk is irresponsible.

In creating a culture that allows for failure, you must emphasize the need for logical controls and strong backup and recovery options. In addition, creating segregated lab environments is a wise course of action.

Although you are ultimately responsible for the actions and success of the team, your employees must have the authority, tools, and responsibility to correct their own mistakes. The idea is to give them the ownership of the full project—they own the success, and they own the failure. If a project or task goes awry, your staff must have the mentality that immediately creates a corrective action plan and puts it into place.

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