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A practice leader denotes an IT professional who cannot only walk the walk and talk the talk, but also build and lead teams to do the same. Practice leaders need to be the calm within the ever-changing storm. Everyone is playing buzzword bingo with the latest and greatest technologies, but they forget that friction comes from two sources – people and process.

People, process, and technology

Technology is easy, but people are non-linear, differential equations that are hard to solve since they change over time. People influence processes. Think of processes as forces that can be directed positively or negatively by people. People pollute processes with political motives, selfish decisions, and personal biases. These inheritances introduce friction into processes and further affect future personal interactions.

Butterfly effect flutters into motion

One potential future outcome is exemplified by the three envelopes story for dysfunctional organizations. The incoming leader receives three envelopes with the #1, #2, and #3 labeled on them from the departing leader. The departing leader then tells the incoming leader to open one of them at a time starting with #1 when you run into a tough situation. Some time passes by and tough situation comes, opening envelope #1, the letter reads, “Blame your predecessor.” And it works. Crisis averted; but it’s not too long, when crisis #2 comes, and envelope #2 gets opened. It reads, “Reorganize.” Again, it works. But crisis #3 comes barreling down, the leader opens envelope #3 and it simply reads, “Prepare three envelopes.”

Don’t be a 3-envelope organization

Leadership sets the edge for an organization’s culture. It is the driving force for either good or bad. Where will you lead your organization? And will your leadership retain and attract people that move the organization’s culture forward while continuing to deliver services that lead to business wins? Leaders need to have answers to these questions.

Becoming a practice leader is one path that an IT professional can take in their career. It combines the technical expertise and experience to deliver services into practice with the ability to communicate and lead through complex business scenarios. And you have to be brave to make IT solution decisions because if they go right, you may get promoted and rewarded and if they go wrong, you may need to find a new employer. Ultimately, business outcomes will tell your tale for the world to see.

See us at the virtual BraveIT 2020 conference in September

Is practice leadership a path that you are taking? What are some of the things that have worked for you, your teams, and your business? Conversely, what are some of the things that have not worked? And have your technology partners helped you become a better practice leader? Let us know in the comment section or in person in the Nutanix virtual booth at BraveIT 2020.

TierPoint’s BraveIT conference is an interactive, thought leadership and networking event designed for the modern IT professional. The 2020 BraveIT virtual conference will take place September 16-17 with multiple guest speakers and panels. See the full agenda and register today.

BraveIT Spotlights are guest blog posts from our 2020 BraveIT sponsors. Kong Yang is Nutanix’s Head of Service Provider Marketing. Nutanix is a global cloud software and hyperconverged infrastructure solutions provider.

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