Thinking about your people (and yourself)

This post sponsored by the Enterprise CIO Forum and HP.

Here’s an interesting thought experiment.

Assume you got promoted.  Maybe you’ve just moved from the Director of IT Operations role to the Vice President of IT.  One of your first tasks is to start the hiring process for your replacement. Ask yourself this question:

Would you hire ‘you’? Or would you hire someone completely different from you?

The reason for this little thought experiment is more than just to waste your time.  The answer might just help you realize what you do well –  and what you do poorly.

Now…when I say to think about this question, I mean really think about it.  Heck…if you have the time, sit down and work through the actual job description of what you think your job *should* be and who the person doing *that* job should be.

This experiment can do wonders for you and the organization. It can help highlight areas that need to be addressed and areas that you should start focusing more of your time.

Why?

Because, if done correctly, it will force you to rethink your priorities, your team’s priorities and perhaps your organization’s priorities. It will also force you to think about the people more than anything else….and that’s something that most organizations do very little of. Thinking about the people within the organization is often overlooked.

Let’s assume, again, that you’ve moved into the VP of IT role I mentioned above and you now need to put someone in the IT Ops Director role.

Looking back on your time in the IT Ops role, what are the things that kept you busiest? What things could be done better? What person would be the ‘ideal’ person for that role?

After you answer those questions….then maybe you can start actually revisiting what you’re doing on a daily basis. Maybe you can start to see what can be outsourced and/or offloaded to someone else to take care of while you can focus on your newly found ‘important’ things.

Now…take this thought experiment a step further and apply the question to every person on your team.  For every person on your team…ask this question:

Would you hire this person again? Are they in the right role?

This little experiment is a nice one too.  It helps you take a critical look at your team and find those people that might be in the wrong roles….and maybe in the right roles. This little exercise lets you revisit your team and the makeup of your team.

Before you undertake this little experiment…keep in mind that you aren’t looking for people to fire.  You are looking for ways to improve your team. You are looking for ways to help your current team members by letting them focus on different things. You may find ways to make your team members start to grow as people and IT professionals.

While these experiments may seem foolish to some, they are important exercises to undertake to force yourself to think about your people and their priorities.

And again…thinking about your people is one of your most important tasks as a manager & leader.

Image Credit: Think Hard by mutsmuts on flickr

This post sponsored by the Enterprise CIO Forum and HP.

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