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Copyright Donald E. Harris This work is the intellectual property of the author. Permission is granted for this material to be shared for non-commercial, educational purposes, provided that this copyright statement appears on the reproduced materials and notice is given that the copying is by permission of the author. To disseminate otherwise or to republish requires written permission from the author.
Managing Political Awareness By Don Harris Vice Provost and CIO Emory University
Know The Players ► What are their backgrounds? ► What are their interests? ► Who do they partner with? ► What (or who) influences them? ► What are their “hot buttons”? ► Where are there rifts between players? ► What is their history with your organization? ► What do they think about you?
Get into their heads ► Read what they read ► Attend conferences they attend ► Read what they write ► Listen to their speeches ► Ask good questions that show you’ve been thinking ► Take them to lunch ► Seek to understand what makes them tick
Become visible at campus events ► Get on the “A” list and go to special events ► Be a player by being visible and mixing socially ► Know the spouses or significant others ► Don’t say too much until accepted by the group ► Realize what you say to one will be said to another
Form a vision others will support ► Do your homework on what others are trying to achieve ► Stay up to date on emerging technologies ► Look for matches with what would be useful for your campus ► Link your vision with others and enlist them to help further your agenda because it benefits their agenda as well
Tell the story ► Communicate your message to the campus using a variety of methods ► Develop web sites, brochures, videos, and write articles ► Feed news items to the campus paper, newsletters, alumni magazine, etc. ► Push campus goals and not your personal agenda
Partner with key individuals ► Seek to understand how power and influence works on your campus ► Focus on how decisions are made with committees, administrative structures, etc. ► Develop good working relationships with key individuals who can help you further the IT agenda for your campus ► Understand that the political climate is always in a state of change
Control the resources ► Line up all resources in your area toward support of the strategic vision ► Don’t be afraid to reallocate resources to show management responsibility ► Be sure to mix asking for new funds with showing responsible use of existing funds and personnel resources ► Be ready with your list of cutbacks that if needed will better your situation
Define how you are perceived ► Write your own intro for the campus ► Be sure to draw upon your background and experiences to present yourself well to the campus ► Understand that there are many different audiences for this so take that into consideration ► Don’t say anything you can’t back up
Showcase others’ victories ► Control the stage but let others have the spotlight ► Be sure to promote only those who are good partners with you and your organization ► Tie their good work back to your strategic direction ► Use victories as a way to seek more support
Fine tune your leadership style ► Know your client base ► Develop a style that works for all these disparate groups ► The hard part will be doing this and staying consistent and true to who you are with your own beliefs and personal traits ► Let others use their strengths and develop areas where they are weak ► Be open and willing to change yourself