I have worked with many successful business owners and CEO’s who provided engaging and active leadership for their companies until it involved their IT related projects. These otherwise very capable professionals would shy away from these projects because as one CEO told me “I don’t understand all that technical jargon the IT Director throws at me. I get frustrated because I can’t get what I need done, and frankly those conversations feel embarrassing.”
My advice to him was simple, “Ask the questions to which you understand the answers”. Don’t ask “how are we doing on that customer service enhancement?” Ask your real question: “When will the customer service department have the information on their screens they need for answering customer inquiry calls without having to call them back?” By visibly engaging in these projects, you validate their importance to the company in the eyes of your staff. Questioning your IT staff in this manner reminds them that their technical projects are there to help the company’s operation serve your customers better at a profit.