Often times we as leaders within our respective shops tend to waste our time focusing on the wrong things. Think about that for a moment and think about the team that you are on or that you are leading. I’ve seen it happen among some very talented teams where we (yes I include myself in this) are not tapping into the expertise of our teams bringing for the most potential out of each team member.
Over the course of time I’ve come across some things that have helped me in a leadership role that may help some other data professionals out there who are starting out or maybe even a season vet.
- Eliminate those distractions – you have to define out what matters most. What are you or the team doing that may prevent you from focusing on the real tasks at hand.
- Get Real – face it; there will be times when those awkward conversations are needed. Hold each other accountable if you are on a team, and if you are a lone DBA which some of my friends out there are then build a base in the community of trusted advisors. Bounce some ideas off them.
- Point out what is not working – this may seem simple enough, but believe me it’s not always that easy to overcome it. Constantly review processes and procedures to make sure you are thriving forward; not drifting backward.
- Set some goals – do this with your team, individuals, or yourself – put the emphasis on with.
Change is hard; change is never easy. That’s where coaching comes in; you have to stick with it. Trust me; if it were easy then everyone would be doing it.
What Are Some Ways To Define Success?
- Respect and leverage – I’ve personally found that when teams respect each other and can strategically leverage each persons talents then watch out. You are about to witness something special take place.
- Management has focus – as I typed this I had to take a moment and reflect on the team I’m blessed to lead. I’m I positively focused on leading the group – I do believe I have their best interest but that doesn’t mean “we” won’t make mistakes. I include we, cause dear reader, you may be in this category with me.
- Does your team matter – your colleagues and teammates; the ones you get in the trenches with on a daily basis should feel like they matter.
- Ability to be innovative – one of the key success points I’ve experienced is turning a team loose and just say, “be innovative”. End of day I got your back, and guess what you will fail. Let me repeat myself; you will fail. However, if you are not being innovative or your team or colleagues are scared to try anything new from fear of backlash then are you truly pushing forward?
- Good enough isn’t really good enough – a saying that has stuck with me my whole life is a simple one. Somewhere someone is practicing getting better, and when you meet that person one on one will you rise to the challenge. It is okay to set the bar high and it is also okay to keep working hard toward and end goal. On the flip side to that it is also okay to learn from your mistakes and let that be the fuel to the fire to keep getting after it.
I challenge you to embrace your aspirations today. If you lead a team of data professionals then take a long hard look at how you are leading your group. Let innovation; collaboration, and engagement with others turn into respect, leveraging talent, and building on success. If we are bragging or dwelling on the past; then that may mean we are not doing enough in the present.
How’s that fuel in the fire; are you passionate about succeeding? These are just some thoughts in my own mind that I’ve jotted down over the years that may help you along your journey as a data professional. Time to get after it and make it happen ~ BE THE CHANGE.