Editor's Blog - A conversation with The Advisory Council's Peter Schay

Posted: Nov 01, 2011

An interview with Peter Schay, president and CEO, The Advisory Council (TAC), https://www.tacadvisory.com/ 


Management vs. Leadership

What’s the difference between management and leadership?  “IT executives who come up through IT often don’t fully understand [leadership],” says Peter Schay, president and CEO of The Advisory Council (TAC), Quest’s partner in the Quest Leadership Community. IT folks are adept at budgeting and resource allocation, but often lack some other skills necessary for effecting leadership. “Leadership basically is about people skills,” Schay says. “There are limits to what you can get out of your team by giving orders.”


Learning effective team motivation and building relationships – especially with those outside the IT department – area great ways to build these skills, Schay says.


He also encouraged folks to just get up out of the chairs and maintain relationships face to face. “Sitting in an office and running IT from there is not going to be successful. You need to know what your business peers are trying to accomplish.”


To become an IT hero, you must develop the people skills to effectively community with business peers and senior management, and be able to effectively motivate your own people. On top of management skills such as budgeting and asset management. “The most effective [IT leaders] are both,” Schay said. “What you’re trying to do is develop a balance of skills. [Most] IT people are already detail oriented,” he added, are often not extroverted personality types. “The leadership part is a challenge,” Schay noted. “People go into IT because they’re more comfortable with a computer than with people. We spend a lot of time with our clients coaching them on how to deal with political situations.”


So what’s a young IT professional looking to move up into leadership roles to do to prepare? “The number one thing is to start building relationships with your users personally,” Schay said, “so they don’t view you as one of those funny IT people.” The more you focus on building relationships with users, “the more prepared you’ll be to move up in management.”


As you interact, Schay recommends, “think, ‘I’m going to make a conscious effort to adapt my behavior to this person’s style.’ That’s one of those people skills.” In fact, he added, “that’s a life skill.”


Posted in: General interest

Tags: C-level/Executive Management (CEO CFO CIO etc.)

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