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BK Blog Post
Posted by M. Nora Klaver, Executive Coach, Bouchard Executive Coaching Ltd..
Nora is an accomplished executive coach with 25 years of experience developing corporate leaders. She is the author of Mayday! Asking For Help In Times of Need.
For some people, the holiday gift giving process is exhilarating. They joyfully skip from store to store, picking out the perfect gift for each recipient on their list. Their gifts communicate commitment, appreciation, creativity, understanding, and most of all, complete competence in the holiday season. They are totally in control.
I…am not one of those people. Holiday shopping, for me, usually involves a lot of banging my head against the wall and trying to assess how many years in a row it’s acceptable to give everyone on my list pine-scented candles.
It occurred to me the other day that leadership is a lot like holiday gift giving. Some people love it, procuring and distributing gifts with ease. Others find the process complicated, confusing, and elusive. They want to throw their hands in the air and say “Screw it! You’re all getting candles again!” – behavior deserving of that lump of coal!
For IT in particular, there are too many leaders that spend every day of the year running around like its five minutes before the mall closes on Christmas Eve and they still have three people on their list. The never ending demands to coordinate diverse skill sets, coach highly specialized professionals, wrangle complex code, and navigating cross-departmental pressures leaves them in a state of holiday-like panic all year long.
How are they to handle such a challenge?
The answer – soft skills! (I think I just felt every single one of my clients shudder).
I get it. IT professionals thrive on all things logical, sequential, and rational. Do any of those things sound like people to you? NOPE. People are messy, unpredictable, and temperamental. Dealing with people, and giving them gifts, requires a completely different set of skills than those needed to write great code or build awesome infrastructure.
Luckily, leadership and gift-giving are both skills that can be learned. You just need a little help from BEC, and we promise you will be better for it! Take a gander at what giving the perfect gift and being a good leader have in common.
Now think about you team. Do you have relationships with your team members? Your peers? Your superiors? Do they innovate and collaborate seamlessly? Or do egos, lack of communication, guardedness, and a siloed workforce constantly slow progress? If you’re an IT leader and have spent your time focusing on tactical execution rather than cultivating relationships, your probably aren’t unlocking your (or your team’s!) full potential.
Giving a gift to a friend is a gesture commemorating the symbiotically beneficial relationship you have with one another. If you aren’t cultivating relationships in your professional life worthy of the same type of appreciation, then you will only achieve a fraction of what you would be able to with a strong team!
We have faith in you. Cheers to a year of growing as a leader and the sharing of your many gifts!
M. Nora Bouchard, MA, is a senior-level executive coach with twenty plus years of experience who has chosen to work with those who value an analytical mindset. She enjoys working with CIOs, leaders of IT teams, as well as the people who wrangle code, DBAs, data center operators, and network administrators. She’s also great with other analytical minds in finance, engineering and science. Nora is author of Mayday! Asking for Help in Times of Need. Learn more about her background, programs and clients at www.mnorabouchard.com.
The post Are You the Leadership Equivalent of a Lump of Coal? appeared first on M. Nora Bouchard.
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