The other day, I had the good fortune of catching up with a true techie after many years. Although we’ve been in touch with each other over the years, the conversation was usually superficial in nature. This time, it proved to be much beyond that when he exchanged the lessons that he had learned over time—as a result of growing along with the startup that he works with.
Now, we need to know a bit more about our man. Earlier a hands-on geek, this professional has successfully made the transition to an IT leader after dealing with the associated learning curve. His employer also made the evolution from a six member startup to a multinational with hundreds of employees across multiple locations during the same timeframe. While the growth steadily happened in leaps and bounds, our friend had it much tougher. “I was happy that I knew every bit and piece of my IT setup. But slowly I found that I had to let these separate aspects be handled by others—people who were not as capable as I am,” he said. This is a scenario that any perfectionist will identify with (not just those in IT). This meant that our man ended up micro-managing every little aspect—day in and day out.
This went on till the day that he realized that even as his designation changed, his work role didn’t. As the company grew, there was a definite need for our friend to shoulder the expanding responsibility portfolio. Needless to say, he was too busy running around handling much trivial tasks. “So I woke up one day and decided that I have to learn to let go. I was the man standing between my company and its need to leverage IT for strategic purposes,” he recollected.
While his journey involved many hard lessons, the story did progress in a good way from there on. He observes that the evolution happened only after he started trusting his team (as well as recruiting people better than him).
This is a scenario that many CIOs and senior IT leaders with pure technical backgrounds will identify with. Now the question is, how did YOU tackle the “let go” process? What were the trials and tribulations that accompanied this metamorphosis?
I’d definitely like to know about this part of your career journey. So please do write in at the usual place, apatrick at techtarget dot com.