It is another year running past the finish line. We have had our bumps and our bruises. Hopefully, we have also had some success and new understanding as to how to best run all the areas of people, process, and technology within our organizations.
This blog that ends our year is about the “State of Technical Support.” You know me by now and probably know what I am going to say. The state of your technical support has everything to do with the state of your people and the state of you as a leader and their manager. You can’t fail in one and be successful in the other.
You had goals that you needed to achieve this year. You had promises that you made to your upper management and your people. You probably realized that you could not do it alone. And, if you didn’t come to that conclusion, then it was not as tough as it could have been. Wait, it will be!
My desire here is to have you reflect on some things that happened this year and learn from them. So, let’s get right to it.
Implement your learning in the next year. Improve your approach. Access the lessons and execute them. Take five minutes with me and write these things down.
What were the two best things that happened this year?
- As a manager
- For my team
What should I continue to do for them and for myself?
What were the two worst things that happened this year?
- As a manager
- For my team
What can I change to ensure those things like that don’t happen again?
What is it that I can do to change my game next year?
- What do I need to learn about my team?
- How should I treat my people differently?
- How should I treat my upper management differently?
- What type of development do I need to be a better manager/leader?
Now that you know, let’s be realistic. Are you really going to do any of these things to change your situation? If not, just walk away from this article right now. No need to continue.
YOU are the only one that can make a difference and a change for you and your team. YOU either fight for them and protect them, build them into the team that you need and want, or you won’t. This will determine if you are simply a manager or finally a leader, showing your potential to think about someone other than yourself and your own success, to grow your team. That is where a leader’s success comes from.
The message may seem harsh or perhaps too direct. I don’t like to pussy foot around and have never been one who takes a passive approach. It is time to take stock and change the things that need to be changed, and if that thing is you, it’s time to do it now. We are in desperate need of true leaders. We are in desperate need of you in that role.
Last year, I had the opportunity to work with a group in the Asia Pacific region. We were talking about the differences between managers and leaders. A director in the course made a very profound statement that stuck with me. He said, “A manager is a role that you get paid for every day when you come into the office. Whereas, a leader? A leader, you have to prove that to your people and yourself every day, and it is not guaranteed that you will be one every day.”
Leadership is not a role. It is an embodiment.
It made me pause and take a reflection of my own life and the way people perceive what I do and who I am. Yes, I show up, do the job well, and get paid. But, do I embody the leader I want to be with all of the people I interact with in my classes, the service and support people behind the scenes, my peers, my overseeing body? How would I know if I was or was not doing that or being that way?
I need to ask, humbly with an open heart and open ears and be willing to change what needs to be changed. It is no threat to me to hear feedback when it is delivered in a way that is intended to make me better at what I do. We get defensive when we sit in pride and have an investment in our own opinions. There is no need to be so closed. It strangles growth. It strangles opportunities and the future.
Moving forward, this New Year, I encourage you. I implore you. Look at everything as an opportunity to grow, to become the extraordinary leader that you want to be. You won’t know you have succeeded by your own wisdom or self. You will know that you have succeeded when you see the engagement, energy, extra effort, buy in, and creativity of your staff.
Take a moment to celebrate, too! Then get back to work! We have lots to do! Happy Holidays and New Year to you all.