What advice do you have for IT people who aspire to be empathic leaders?

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Senior Executive Advisor in Software, 10,001+ employees
Embrace failure. You need to embrace humanism. You need to embrace the fact that people are going to fail. We are humans, and we, by default, are going to fail. We have been failing throughout our life, and without failure, we would never have learned to ride a bicycle, we would never have learned to walk. We failed a lot. Our medical and technology failures during a pandemic, so we're all stuck in this. Failure is a part of life. What the executives and other leaders can embrace is that the failure of one team is actually going to be validated learning for an entire organization. So embrace the failure, have a culture of failure, bring in that psychological safety.

Drive more innovation within the organization. You want to reduce the manual toil that you have within your organization. You want people to focus on things that are more valuable and want to have systems to focus on things that are not as valuable. So look at your value stream. Figure out where you can bring in much more automated approaches, more secure practices. Try to remove the human out of that equation and upscale them and elevate them. You can measure very easily the amount of footprint that you have of technology and automation from any path to production. That's something we at VMware are very proud of. Our philosophy is to, especially in the business unit that I'm from, improve the developer experience and the operator efficiency. So we're trying to have people focus on high-value activities while systems will do the mundane jobs. So that increases their time for innovation, the time for working on customer delight, and all the things related to business outcomes. That's measurable, and you can do that.

Have a psychological end for the day; that’s something that I expect people to do in IT. We have something called a spin down. It’s a 15-minute meeting at the end of every day where the team goes around and talks about what they accomplished at the end of the day. They give kudos to the people who helped them remove any impediment that they had. They never talk about blockers or impediments at the end of the day. That can wait until the next day. But what this does is it shares that bonding and dosing of chemicals for all the teams. Still, at the same time, especially because we're working from home, it gives a psychological end for the day and tells them okay from now on, you don't have to think about work, you can actually spend time with your family. That's something that you can do.

Those are simple things you can do within the confines of being in IT as well. You don't have to interface with a lot of things. You can send the message out through visual indicators all the time.
GVP in Software, 10,001+ employees
Thanks Gautham, what a great response. Would be great to hear from  here as well!
CIO in Education, 201 - 500 employees
There will be people that mistake openly embracing learning opportunities for weakness. KEEP LEARNING and keep owning that you don’t know everything.

Also, caring about the well-being of others and walking that talk is strong, not soft. Model that behavior.

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One thing I do is include them in the meetings about the changes that will take place and get their opinion.  I also lay out the pros and cons of the changes and how it will effect us as a team moving forward.

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