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Management 101

by Jack Santos  |  September 13, 2013  |  Comments Off on Management 101

Let me one-up HIPAA and share with you a medical condition I am dealing with: Bell’s palsy.  It came on suddenly, and (I expect and hope) will be gone within a month.

Interesting, though, that its onset reminded me of advice by an early mentor, Richard Connell.  Richard was my boss at Aetna and Liberty Mutual for many years, and moved on to Selective Insurance as CIO and eventually CAO.

Back to Palsy.  A few weeks ago on my last plane trip I had an earache – the sharp, painful kind that affects you with the air pressure change during ascent or descent on a plane; unusual, I thought nothing of it;  i.e., this too shall pass.  Last Tuesday, the ear ache returned.  By Wednesday, it had developed into a headache, and discomfort with my contacts, as well as a slight tingling of my face.  Thursday morning I awoke with full on symptoms (paralyzed half face) and went to the Emergency Room (or ED in medical parlance).

Which reminded me of Richard.  His advice was always to pay attention to the details, act early, and act decisively.  Doing that gives you runway to deal with changing circumstances, more options, and more opportunity for correction.  Don’t ignore the early signs.  Act on them.

Of course, one must temper that advice with a dose of calm rationality (Richard was always good at that), and not overreact to every little thing, or micromanage a person or situation.  But it’s good advice, and should be page one of any management primer.  Pay attention to details, act early, act decisively.  True in many aspects of life, not just management.

Our research (The Changing IT Career) is leading us down a path where we discover that management skills and leadership skills (the two are different) are applicable to everyone, not just folks that supervise people.  In this era of mobile work and increased autonomy, EVERYONE is a leader…and companies are looking for that.  We’ll have a lot of research coming out on that topic in the coming year. 

So my recent experience reminded me of some basic management skills — directly applicable to people managers – and probably true for task managers that aren’t involved in supervising – Like IT professionals and practitioners.  This tidbit was one of them.  Welcome to Management 101.

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Category: management  managment  work-place  

Tags: management  mobility  

Jack Santos
Research VP
7 years at Gartner
40 years IT industry

Jack Santos is a Research Vice President with Gartner, part of the Enterprise Architecture and Technology Innovation team within the Gartner for IT Leaders product. He focuses on enterprise architecture and technology trends. Mr. Santos' specific area of research covers individual development, leadership and management practices for enterprise architects, EA innovation, and collaboration approaches. Read Full Bio

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