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Guest Blog: 5 Leadership Tips for Empowering Your Team With Automation

I am passionate about leadership and these are some of the tips that I wanted to take the time to share with you. I hope you find some of my tips useful.

By Doug James, Director of Technology & Business Management at NetDesign

I believe that the strongest asset in any company is its employees, and it is our role as leaders to empower employees to produce amazing results and see them grow. Today, I am privileged to be responsible for the Technology & Business Management Division at NetDesign. A close dialogue between the leadership team and our subject matter experts has improved both our customer and employee satisfaction.

Empower and enable your team with automation.

According to Technopedia, “Automation is the creation of technology and its application in order to control and monitor the production and delivery of various goods and services.”

That sounds cool, but what I would like you to understand is how we can use automation as leaders. Automation helps empower your teams to produce better, more effective results in their daily work, helping to increase their satisfaction and focus on more value-added tasks.

Automation can come in many forms and is especially critical in IT operations. Above all else, it is not just a “tool” but a mindset to work smarter.

Tip 1: Automation is a mindset.
You have to keep it simple and it’s important to get as many people on board as possible to help share and understand your vision. But in order to do that you need to talk about the value of automation and not just the equivalent of how many people’s time you can save. If you do automation correctly you can empower your employees to stop the manual repetitive tasks and instead work on other value-added tasks.

Tip 2: Break your goals down into small and manageable tasks.
There is no big easy button called “automation.” (If there was–I would be selling it.) If automation was so simple, everyone would have done it by now.
Our development and automation teams have just started working in agile sprints. They take larger tasks like improving the quality of our CMDB and break it down into small, manageable tasks. This makes the tasks easier to solve and the progress more visible. Try working with automation with a mindset to see better, incremental progress with your projects.

Tip 3: Think long term, but with some quick results.
At NetDesign, we have achieved fantastic results in a short space of time, which really helps motivate our teams for our longer-term goals.

Tip 4: Do not climb the mountain alone.
The quickest way to climb a mountain is on your own, but when you get to the top, you have nobody to share the view with. So, I’d recommend taking your team with you. It might take longer, but if you can get the team on board with you, along with their commitment in your vision, then you will get to the top together and you can celebrate together.

And now for some tech tips …

Below, I’ve packed a few tips into some fun technical terms, to keep you engaged and to help you remember them.

• PHP, perfection hates progress. If you always wait for something to be perfect, then you are going to delay when you move into production and start delivering value to your customers. So not everything has to be perfect before you implement it. The quicker you start a task, the quicker you’ll be finished and adding value to your customer.

SNMP, simply not my problem. Please do not be the person in your organization that says, “someone else will fix that.” If you see a problem, it could be a small mistake in the CMDB, or a reoccurring issue, but try to work together with the rest of your organization to fix it. “It is not my problem” or “That’s above my paycheck” is easy to say and blame someone else, but it’s more difficult to work together to find the solution.

GETMO*. I was on a leadership summit last year and they encouraged saying, good enough to move on. This one I absolutely love. If you can have meetings and say “GETMO,” you can help motivate people to say, “Let’s just get on with it, let’s get started, and let’s start producing some results for our customers.” It doesn’t have to be perfect from the start. Let’s improve it now, with less talk, and more action. When people get stuck on the details or an issue you think we can come back to, “GETMO” in a meeting or phone call can really help ensure people are positive and move past issues, instead of getting stuck.

automationTip 5: Share your team’s success.
This, I think, is by far one of the most important parts. If you have some successes, whether it’s just internally, or with customers, do everything you can to share your success in your company. It helps people to understand what role your team plays and to appreciate the results that have been achieved. Don’t be afraid to show the results.

• Above all else it is a team effort. It is never about “me,” it’s more about “us” and “them”. If you work together as a team and you empower your employees, you will produce some great team results.

Listen to feedback. If you want to get to know your customers well, just ask your operational teams or your consultants. They are the ones that know the customer the best. They work with them every day. And if you take the time to listen to them, they will come back with feedback, and you can work together to improve your delivery to your customers. Take the time to listen to them.

Everyone makes mistakes, me included. It is okay to make mistakes. Just try not to make the same mistakes again. Learn from your mistakes and grow as a leader and person. Be flexible and help motivate each other, but don’t be afraid to make a mistake. A good leader will appreciate your effort and help you move past the mistake.

Praise! I think the best thing that we can do is praise our employees in our organization. A motivated employee is roughly 37% more effective**. So, the more we can praise and share our successes, the more we will have a motivated team and the better results we will produce.

Have fun empowering your teams and making a difference.

Interested in reading more about how NetDesign gets results with ScienceLogic? View study»

GETMO* – Craig Groeschel, Global Leadership Summit 2019 – https://globalleadership.org/global-leadership-summit/ – Empowering Leaders to equip & inspire your organization

37%**more productive – Jes Graugaard, https://intenz.dk/ – Driving Organizational Change and Development