In the previous article, we looked at making your to-do list mean-and-lean. How? By removing tasks clearly better served by someone else (delegate), punting tasks not aligned with your goals or customers, and applying the 80-20 rule in multiple methods.
As we continue down the path to optimizing our time and task management let’s take a dive into how I use leadership to persuade others and how I get others to chip in!
I’m not here to talk about CAD Management specifically. However, CAD, IT, and other similar types of management provide interesting challenges.
Side note: If you are looking for more on CAD Management, both Mark Kiker and Robert Green have addressed this topic in various blog posts, online articles, and classes at Autodesk University. As my kids would say, these guys are “da bomb” when it comes to CAD Management.
In my position as the Technical Services Manager, I oversee the technology and the people who use it, yet have no authority over these people. In addition, I am constricted by budgets (cost, time, and resources). So I can’t necessarily tell someone to do something nor directly request assistance completing various tasks.
“CAD MANAGEMENT IS UNIQUE IN THAT YOUR AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY DOES NOT MATCH YOUR CIRCLE OF AUTHORITY. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR PUTTING IN PLACE PROCESSES, GUIDELINES, STANDARDS AND QUALITY CONTROL. BUT YOU HAVE TO DO THIS FROM OUTSIDE THE CHAIN OF COMMAND. “-MARK KIKER
So, now what? I have many tasks that I need the assistance of others to complete. There are tasks that impact a group of people and I need their commitment to complete it quickly and efficiently. Many tasks I need to delegate. Either because I do not have the time or I am not the best one to complete the task.
Be the Leader!
A good manager, even of technology, needs to toe the line between leadership and management. You manage things, but lead people (even if they do not report to you).
Want to be a good leader? Be transparent – always. Be honest – learn from your mistakes. Keep an Open Mind. Just because you have always done it one way does not mean it always needs to be done that way. Admit when you were wrong.
“MANAGEMENT IS DOING THINGS RIGHT; LEADERSHIP IS DOING THE RIGHT THINGS.”-Peter F. Drucker
Leaders set the direction, build the vision. Leadership is seeing the trees and the forest. It is knowing where you are and where you need to go. Leadership is getting the best out of a team (even outside your authority).
Leaders know when to hold it and they know when to fold it. They take on tasks themselves but know when to delegate the responsibility. Be agile and flexible to embrace that things are constantly changing.
“BEING POWERFUL IS LIKE BEING A LADY. IF YOU HAVE TO TELL PEOPLE YOU ARE, YOU AREN’T!”-MARGARET THATCHER
How can a leader make the best of their time?
- Have a plan and communicate it
- Be the go-to and build trust
- Kill them with motivation
- When in doubt… fake it until you make it!
Have a Plan
Have a plan. Short-term and long-term. Most importantly, let everyone know.
“ALWAYS REVIEW AND COMMUNICATE THE “WHY”. MAP OUT THE PATH AND POINT THE PEOPLE IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION…. BUT DON’T FORGET TO CHECK THE COMPASS TO MAKE COURSE CORRECTIONS.”-Mark Kiker
Want to persuade people to work towards a goal? People want to see the light at the end of the tunnel – especially if the change is difficult. Give them a target. No one is motivated on a directive without information. Tell them why.
Do these things and not only will people work towards your goal, but they’ll do a good job too.
Be the motivator. Be the reason the people and the business are moving forward. Get people involved. Those with a vested interest will feel appreciated and take a higher stake in the success of the initiative. It can be amazing what can be accomplished when teams work together toward a shared vision.
Giving credit encourages people to help again. Why? it makes them feel good, they like feeling good, and like a good drug will be back for more.
Be the Expert
If your position is similar to mine, you have probably found that many assume you are the smartest one in the room. It is expected that you clean up others mistakes. And the best part… it always is your fault.
“FIRST RULE OF LEADERSHIP: EVERYTHING IS YOUR FAULT”. -A BUG’S LIFE-a Bug’s Life
So walk-the-walk, and talk-the-talk. Being the expert makes you the go-to. It builds credibility. Others will take you seriously and listen to your ideas. And then, they will want to contribute to the completion of your plans.
Becoming an expert overnight just isn’t going to happen. You are going to have to put a lot of work and dedication.
Do not stop learning! Study… read, take courses, watch videos, attend seminars, follow social media, work through tutorials, learn from others… there are so many resources! I aim for 4-6 hours a week of learning, even though most of it occurs on my own time.
Practice makes perfect… do what you are preaching. By doing you can work out the kinks and solve problems… kill two birds with one stone! Also being “in the trenches” with others builds respect.
Present your expertise. Let others know about the trials and the resolutions so that others can learn from you. Teaching what you have learned to others will push you even further toward your goal of mastering your skills.
Fake It Until You Make It
Not ready to be the expert? Fake confidence, competence, and an optimistic mindset until you get there. Science has proven this tactic works!
Acting “as if” is a common prescription in psychotherapy. If you want to feel happier, do what happy people do—smile. If you want to get more work done, act as if you are a productive person.
But faking it only works when you correctly identify something that is holding you back and you have a goal to correct it. Just do not get caught up in only changing other people’s perceptions of you. At some point, you need to become that person you are faking.
Going for the Win
Think about it this way. There is 2-minutes left in the game. You have one timeout left and your team is down by 7.
As the quarterback, you could try taking the ball yourself and getting the touchdown. Is this plausible? technically, yes. But in reality, you need to lead the team down the field to score the touchdown.
So, be the leader. Take the plan (yours or the coaching staff) and motivate the group to achieve the goal. Be clear about who needs to do what.
If things go off the rails, remember you have that timeout to reset and redirect back onto the task at hand.
Now, do not wilt under the pressure. They will look to you. March that team down the field. Execute the plays and score that touchdown.
Then, don’t play it save with the single, go for two and the win!