March 1, 2009

Identity Matters

Posted in Business, Technology tagged , , , , , at 6:44 am by lindaslongview

As our social and professional networks grow larger with time, our human need for identity is ever more paramount.  I learned this lesson from my many colleagues in the technology workplace.

Even though technologists have been stereotyped as robotic (logical, rational, and devoid of emotion), the reality is that having a sense-of-purpose, a unique identity, and an ability to know how we are being measured is critical for our professional success.  These key attributes are summarized (albeit in the negative form) by Patrick Lencioni in his book, “Three Signs of a Miserable Job” as irrelevance, anonymity, and immeasurement.  Just like the employees in Lencioni’s tale, without a clear role in the organization, technologists are challenged to understand their future (the long view) and can readily become hyper-sensitive, wary, and less-productive.

Step #1 for success as a technology manager is creating the long view on behalf of staff and colleagues – providing and nurturing a sense-of-purpose, a unique identity for each technologist, and a measurement system that provides effective performance feedback.  It might seem too time consuming for busy professionals, but it is the single best predictor of managerial performance.

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