Week 6 – Trust Your Team

Last week’s entry focused on slowing down. Or trying to slow down. If not slowing down, then rebooting current frenzied pace. I could stand behind the ‘excuse’ of our national coronavirus pandemic all day long, however let’s not. Stop. Breathe. Reassess. Reset speed. Compartmentalize responsive and reactive to COVID-specific concerns and then broaden the business as usual scope. Make sure the two don’t get lost in each other.

This week I handed it over. For the entire week I focused on big-picture, bolt-on, looming responsibilities. In week seven, I will organize week six activities for communication and accomplishment tracking. Week six was digging deep and reminding myself, “Paige, your team is STRONG.” They are rockin’ and rollin’ in completing tasks and goals.

Six weeks ago we were tasked with immediately executing on and completing within 20 weeks significant projects including, but not limited to:

  1. IT Consolidation/Centralization – 90% complete
  2. Addressing Backups and Recovery Concerns (IT Recovery)
  3. Firewall Refresh – 80% complete
  4. Developing a sustainable VMware/VDI Environment – 80% complete (up 30%)
  5. Comprehensive Refresh of ERP (Business Process Improvements, Customization Eliminations, Automation of Processes, and much, much more) – 10% complete (up 5%)
  6. Develop Technology Roadmap and Strategic Plan

Hand it Over

In week six, after submitting a complete draft FY21 budget (check and phew!), I was asked to take on additional responsibilities. BIG responsibilities. Experience-building responsibilities. Outcomes-that-matter responsibilities. Responsibilities that check every box on my mission-focused soul responsibilities.

The only concern mentioned about me taking this on was a fear that I would lose focus or overarching control of the technology department. Paraphrasing, “she can’t be taken from technology” as mentioned by a very small few, but still deserves a mention. My immediate response to the challenge was, “My team is solid. At this point it’s support and oversight. I mean, this (meaning the additional responsibilities) is what executive technology leaders should be focusing on right now anyway.”

Without getting into specifics, and as I shared in my latest LinkedIn article, “Technology leaders should always be thinking outside their lanes. Now more than ever, all lanes are our lanes.” I know how to consolidate, I have direct experience in improving structures and delivery and I practically have my PhD in herding cats. Yes, the expectations of this twenty-week challenge are hefty. However, need I remind myself, my direct reports, my IT leadership, they were also built for this moment. Why in my mind do I only speak in terms of ME being ready for a moment. (Self-awareness lesson duly noted.)

If you have invested in building an outstanding team, if you empower your leaders to do their jobs, if you recognize that mistakes are a good thing if we all learn from them, then why would you even entertain the notion that YOU are ready for a challenge and THEY are somehow not?

So, week six is some internal growth for me. I’m ready, now let’s really free our teams to do their thing!

Here’s where we are:

  • We know where we stand. (week 1)
  • We know where we need to be. (week 2)
  • We take some hits. (week 3)
  • We face a significant, unexpected obstacle(s). (week 4)
  • We’re making progress and celebrating every step. (week 5)
  • We’re on the path and we are empowering MORE (week 6, today)

Week seven is focused on building a deliverable on others being able to watch us progress. And then building a communication plan around that. As much as I know people want to watch our technology advancements, this next challenge is even more watch-worthy.

Until next week…