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IT Leadership Alchemy for Women


Strategic Business Acumen. Project Leadership. Managing Change. A Plan ... Business Acumen ... General business acumen - functions of strategic planning, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: IT Leadership Alchemy for Women

IT Leadership AlchemyforWomen Hi Tech
Identify Design
Teach Monitor
presented by Lou Russell Russell Martin
Associates 6326 Rucker Road Suite E
Indianapolis, IN 46220 (317) 475-9311
Presentation Contents
  • Why is IT Leadership so critical now?
  • Alchemy Turning common into precious
  • The 11 Leadership Competencies
  • The journey to
  • Strengthen the hands of the strong

With speed so important, IT leaders have to be
much more decisive when addressing rapid changes
to technology and business drivers. They need to
be more technically savvy and must be able to
lead complex, diverse organizations. - RMA
Advisory Panel Member
  • You are leading an extremely political and
    critical IT project. It is running about six
    months late, and you have been looking for ways
    to get back on schedule. This project must be
    completed before a new product launch can take
    place, which is critical to the survival of your
  • There is a programmer on your team who will begin
    a new task on Monday. This task will involve
    technology that the programmer is not familiar
    with, but it is technology that you are an expert
    on. There is no other member of your team with
    your expertise in this technology.
  • What are the three actions you will take on

Why is IT Leadership so critical now? IT is very
  • A man was let go from his position through a text
    message on his beeper while attending a
    conference in the same city his office was in.
  • A woman was abruptly given the job of her boss,
    who had just committed suicide. She was not given
    any directions, training or coaching.
  • A five-year SAP project for a global company has
    logged two deaths from heart attacks, as well as
    large turnover rates and illnesses.
  • A woman hired by a software firm discovered that
    she could no longer work with the technical
    people on her team, because they refused to
    communicate with her. Ironically, she was hired
    so that her communication skills would rub off on
    them. Her comment "Is there any place in IT that
    I'll be able to work my technical and people

Side note I will often use the female tense
when speaking about CIOs and IT leadership. I
have a specific interest in the lack of women
entering IT, and the increasing number leaving.
Why is IT Leadership the solution to the economic
  • Market share is driven by speed to market,
    customer service, and/or efficiencies that drive
    out cost. These cannot be done without
  • Security, stability and safety start through the
    gateway of technology (see Byte Wars by Ed

How is IT Leadership unique?
  • Strongly technical IT people tend to follow a
    certain behavioral model. IT leadership deals
    with a unique group of highly intelligent,
    technical people immersed in the innate
    unpredictability and chaos of technology.

Attitude Graph
How is IT Leadership unique?
  • The why of a business, organization or team is
    critical for IT project prioritization but
    generally unknown.
  • Leadership development is a paradox. It must be
    practical, and immediate. However, to be able to
    do, leaders must find quiet time to develop
    self-understanding. There is a strong tension
    between the need to act quickly and the need to
    stop and think in IT. Leadership requires both.

A Great IT Leader
  • A great IT leader needs to know how to leverage
    the strengths she already has, and to surround
    herself with others to fill in her own gaps.
  • A great IT leader realizes that each of his
    people is unique and coaches them to leverage
    their own strengths.
  • Therefore, IT leadership, like all leadership, is
    about releasing the potential that is already

Alchemy Turning common into precious
  • SALT
  • Self-understanding - Who am I? What do I believe?
    What are my strengths and challenges?
  • Working with others - How are we all different?
    How can I motivate and influence others?
  • Integration - Given each leadership situation as
    unique, how do I customize to the need?

Alchemy neither composes nor mixes it increases
and activates that which already exists in a
latent state. Franz Hartmann, late 19th century
alchemy historian from his book The Life of
Paracelsus and the Substance of his Teachings.
London, Wizards 1997
The 11 Leadership Competencies
  • SALT
  • Self-understanding
  • Resiliency
  • Interpersonal and Relationship Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Employee Development (Coaching and Motivating)
  • Creating and Actualizing Vision
  • Customer Orientation
  • Strategic Business Acumen
  • Project Leadership
  • Managing Change
  • A Plan for Action

The 11 Leadership Competencies
  • SALT Self-understanding
  • Develop clarity of personal values, purpose and
  • Develop and execute a personal branding strategy
  • Demonstrate authenticity through behavioral
    alignment with values and vision
  • Taking accountability for personal and leadership
  • Knowing and trusting own intuition
  • Learn to learn new technology

The 11 Leadership Competencies
  • SALT Resiliency
  • Willingness to jump in and get things started
  • Seek opportunities for performance improvement
    and development
  • Build off of others ideas for the benefit of the
  • Maintain appropriate, empowered attitude
  • Persistence in managing and overcoming adversity
  • Act proactively in seeking new opportunities
  • Prioritization, time management

The 11 Leadership Competencies
  • SULPHUR Interpersonal and Relationship Skills
  • Understand and appreciate diversity of
    perspective and style
  • Participate and contribute fully as a team member
  • Demonstrate empathy and understanding
  • Build trust and demonstrate trustworthiness

The 11 Leadership Competencies
  • SULPHUR Communication Skills
  • Understand and adapt to your audience - helping
    others learn
  • Express intention clearly and concisely in
    written communications
  • Build collaboration and clearly articulate
    intention in verbal communications
  • Formal presentation skills
  • Listen for understanding
  • Manage flow of communication/information

The 11 Leadership Competencies
  • SULPHUR Employee Development (Coach Motivate)
  • Motivating employees to high performance
  • Coaching for development and improved performance
  • Manage with appreciation/respect for diversity of
    individual values and needs
  • Delegate tasks as needed and with awareness of
    employee development opportunities
  • Select appropriate staff to fulfill specific
    project needs and responsibilities

The 11 Leadership Competencies
  • MERCURY Customer Orientation
  • Understand and apply customer needs and
  • Gather customer requirements and input
  • Partner with customer in gathering requirements,
    maintaining communication flow and managing work
  • Set and monitor performance standards

The 11 Leadership Competencies
  • MERCURY Strategic Business Acumen
  • Demonstrate ability to ethically build support
    for a perspective you feel strongly about
  • Holistic view - think in terms of the entire
    system and the effects and consequences of
    actions and decisions
  • Operate with an awareness of marketplace
    competition and general landscape of related
    business arenas
  • General business acumen - functions of strategic
    planning, finance, marketing, manufacturing, RD,

The 11 Leadership Competencies
  • MERCURY Project Leadership
  • Build cohesive teams with shared purpose and high
  • Set, communicate and monitor milestones and
  • Gain and maintain buy in from sponsors and
  • Prioritize and allocate resources
  • Manage multiple, potentially conflicting
    priorities across various/diverse disciplines
  • Create and define systems and processes to
    translate vision into action

The 11 Leadership Competencies
  • MERCURY Project Leadership (continued)
  • Maintain an effective, interactive and productive
    team culture
  • Manage budget and project progress
  • Gather and analyze appropriate data and input and
    manage noise of info overload
  • Manage risk versus reward and ROI equations
  • Balance established standards with need for
    exceptions in decision-making
  • Align decisions with needs of business and
    organizational/team values
  • Make timely decisions in alignment with customer
    and business pace

The 11 Leadership Competencies
  • SULPHUR Creating and Actualizing Vision
  • Create a clear and inspirational vision of the
    desired outcome
  • Align the vision with broader organizational
  • Translate the vision into manageable action steps
  • Communicate vision to enroll/enlist staff,
    sponsors and customers
  • Influence and Evangelize (sales, negotiation)
  • Gather appropriate input
  • Understand individual motivators and
    decision-making styles and utilize to enroll
  • Facilitate win/win solutions

The 11 Leadership Competencies
  • MERCURY Create, Support and Manage Change
  • Improvement Initiatives (three levels managing
    your own transition / transformation, managing a
    corporate (external) change initiative, coaching
    others through transition)
  • Identify and implement appropriate change
  • Promote and build support for change initiatives
  • Understand cost/benefit and ROI of change
  • Manage transition with employees - guiding and
    supporting the change process
  • Support staff in navigating transitional
    process/challenges through organizational change
  • Demonstrate and build resilience in the face of

Strengthen the hands of the strong
  • The seed of leadership is in everyone. Identify
    and leverage your natural leadership strengths
    while minimizing your weaknesses.
  • Your strengths are also your weaknesses.  
  • Nurturing leadership competency is done on two
    levels self and others. The two are always
    connected, influencing each other.

Thank You!
  • Visit our Web Page for more
    Project Management stuff, toys, resources and
  • Drop me email or card for stuff I offered or
    information about our PM for 4th Graders or
    Project Management consulting and workshops.
  • Check out my books
  • The Accelerated Learning Fieldbook
  • Project Management for Trainers
  • IT Leadership Alchemy