A Career Moment or Career Suicide?

By John Palinkas  |  Posted 11-20-2013 Print

There are key moments in your professional life when you need to summon managerial courage. The end result can be a career moment—or career suicide.

Red arrow, person, decision

“Done, you got it,” said R. “What else do you want?” Here it was, another opportunity for managerial courage. Using R’s analogy, I said I wanted someone to help fill the lake (i.e., find more candidates.) The meeting ended with everyone having action items on what they would do to support me. (A side note: everyone in that meeting was at least one or two levels higher than me.)

A week later, R saw me in the hallway and asked how it was going. All I said was that we had hired 18 people. (After all, would you be inclined to turn down a job offer if an employer called you the day after your interview?)

This story emphasizes three major necessities for managerial courage:

1.    Recognize an opportunity when it presents itself

2.    Ensure you have a plan to emerge safely from the storm

3.    Have the courage to step into the storm.

How many opportunities for managerial courage have you not noticed? How many have you noticed but were afraid to act upon? The most successful IT leaders all have something in common. At one point in their career, they had to make a difficult decision and bet the farm on the outcome of their decision. But they all displayed managerial courage on behalf of the company. If you want to be a successful IT leader, you can start by displaying managerial courage in your everyday actions.

What is your story about managerial courage? I’d love to hear it.

About the Author

John Palinkas is a partner at The IT Transformation Institute. ITTI is a catalyst for transforming the IT industry. ITTI helps change the DNA of IT teams, solving today’s problems and breaking the cycles that led to them, and to create next-generation IT organizations. John has spent more than three decades in the IT services industry, working with industry leaders like AT&T, AT&T Solutions and British Telecom. He has led numerous multimillion dollar, multiyear outsourcing and service-delivery engagements for dozens of Fortune 500 firms. He has extensive experience and expertise in IT transformation efforts, outsourcing analysis, M&A integrations and service implementations. John serves on the executive committee for NJ SIM Chapter, the leadership team of NJ itSMF LIG, and is a regular contributor to CIO InsightHe can be reached via email at John.Palinkas@TransformingIT.org, and you can follow him on Twitter via @jpalinkas.

You can read his previous CIO Insight article, “A Geek’s Guide to IT Management,” by clicking here.


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