Integrity and the IT guy

We were contracted to recreate the website of one of our clients. Although we were able to bring up the new website, we asked the IT personnel of our client to provide us a copy of their old content. We wanted to repost them on the new site.

I started the first 10 years of my career in IT and I know that this request takes a few minutes. Just search for the pages and linked photos and that’s it. The IT personnel of our client said that he will send them over. A week passed by and when reminded he said the same thing.

A few more weeks passed by and I decided to copy the owner of the company is my request. The IT guy finally replied and said that he emailed it over but it the email bounced. I replied back saying that from the hundreds of emails I get, he was the only one that could not get through. I then replied that I have another email address with him that I am reading his reply from. Why didnt he send the files to both email address.

The email address that he was referring to is automatically forwarded to a central email address. Technically, it was impossible that a forwarding email could bounce. The email is not received at the original inbox server. It is bring forwarded to another email address that he said could be reached. He said that the email I use as a central email address did not bounce. He was trying to get away with the fact that he did not do his job. What he forgot was that I used to be a computer programmer and could see through his technical excuses.

The irony of this story is that IT guy is still under probationary period. He clearly lacks integrity. If he works for me and tried to get away with not doing his job then I will think twice before hiring him. On top of that, he tried to cover up his action with a clear attempt to decieve me with a lame technical excuse. That shows lack of integrity. Such a person best work somewhere else.

I guess what I am trying to say is this:
1. No matter what kind of job we are in, it is our duty to do great work to the best of our ability.
2. If we genuinely fail to deliver then acknowledge it and prevent it from happening again.
3. If we genuinely fail to deliver then be honest about the reason. Don’t bullshit.
4. Focus on finding, keeping and developing employees with great behaviors and potentials. This is were your successors will come from.

High potential employees are far and few in between. Hold on to them. Develop future leaders.

If you are interested in a free power talk about leadership and developing your Millennial successors, please feel free to reach out.


Wisdom of a 9-year old

After waiting for a few years and a failed attempt, the wife of a good friend of mine finally got pregnant. However, the last weeks of the pregnancy proved to be challenging. Their baby was delivered five weeks ahead of schedule. This resulted in a more delicate care for the baby. Their baby needed to stay in the hospital for a few more weeks under watchful and dedicated care. We all know that staying for long periods of time in a hospital can be quite costly. My friend does not have full medical coverage with his church’s HMO. As a young pastor, or pastors in general do not really make a lot. Their lives are dedicated to their faith “Honoring God and Making Disciples.”

What makes this season of his life more challenging is that this is the third trial in the last few months. First it was his mom. Then his dad suffered a mild stroke.

I find it amazing that his faith and drive never wavered. My friend was being bombarded with a series of difficult events. Yet, he maintains a positive outlook. When he asks for prayers, it will always be in the context of positive news. He would post something positive and ask for prayers for an even more positive turnout of events.

People with the strongest faith face the heavier challenges. I would often revert to my logical nature and ask myself ‘why is this happening to him?’ I am not asking myself this question in defiance. I am asking out of curiosity.

When I asked our 9-year-old this question. He looked at me and said, ‘Do you remember papa when God was testing Job?’ I said ‘yes’. God was testing his faith. When Job proved himself in the end, God rewarded him. Job received much more than what he lost. Axel reminded me also that even Jesus himself was tested by the Devil. When the Devil asked Jesus to jump from the cliff, Jesus held steadfast.

Whoever said that our youth have no clue as to what is going around them in the world? They are clearly wrong. There is wisdom in our children.


True Leaders are Truly Humble

Essam B. is one of the best Saudi nationals I have ever had the privilege to mentor. High Potential employees, like Essam, who actually put to action what they learn. Leaders, like Essam, who transfer their experience for the development of their employees.

I first met Essam years ago. He applied to have his OJT (On the Job training) with my department. He was a young, energetic and ambitious Saudi that was overflowing with questions and willingness to listen. Like most Departments in the Bank, we treat OJT’s as employees. We don’t give them trivial tasks like making coffee or running errands. Our OJTs get to learn our business. They get to contribute to our Departments vision.

After he graduated from KFUPM (the most progressive University in Saudi Arabia at the time) he applied for and got a job in our Bank. He reported directly to me. Years later, he got the opportunity to work for a start-up telecom. It was sad to see him resign from the bank but clearly it was for his career growth.

He started rising up in the companies he works for. He moved from one company to another. Essam is currently the Chief Operating Officer of the largest Mega Recruitment agency in Middle East. They hire more than 8,000 employees for various companies all over the Kingdom.

Despite his success, he still remembers his beginnings. He sent me text yesterday asking for a few minutes of my time. As soon as I agreed, I got an international call from him.

He was at odds with a management decision. He wanted to seek my advice. He had a highly technical employee promoted to management level sometime back. Remembering that subject matter experts do not automatically become great managers, he wanted to correct the situation.

However, his superior was not convinced. His boss did not want to lose the manager in the role because of this technical capabilities.

I asked Essam for his views. Essam said that he needed someone for the job who is 80% a great manager and 20% a technical person. The existing manger was the opposite, 90% technical and 10% manager. He wanted to move the existing manager to a more technical role and at the same time keep him as a technical adviser.

Essam will then appoint another manger to take care of the department and the people. He wanted to put someone with strong management skills.

Essam was on the right track. I told him this. He just needed another opinion from someone thousands of miles away.

This is a great example of a leaders humility. This shows a strong leader acknowledging that he still needs outside advise to validate his thoughts.

This is also just one example of the power of a strong mentoring culture. A mentoring culture that was planned and executed to develop high potential employees to take on management positions.

More power to you Essam. May you continue adding great leadership value to your company.

See you soon.