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Leading by example

Posted on 22/08/2018 by Tom Holmes

Awais Ahmed admits to being unfazed by the rigours of management because, he says, it’s all a matter of setting an example and earning people’s trust.

“Since day one I have assumed responsibility and I think I have people’s respect because I go about leading in a respectful way. That’s one thing that has helped me. I get on well with my team and we have a good bond and a strong respect and trust for each other.”

He joined the company in 2014 as a first line support technician, and quickly set about making improvements to processes and procedures. He’d complete his work and then take on additional tasks, such as writing system guides for his colleagues to use. It became apparent that he was destined for a leadership role.

“I wanted people to work similarly to me,” Awais explains,  “but in a way that suited them; you have to cater for each individual because there is no way they are going to learn the same way as you.

“That’s what I started doing, I wanted people to have the same mindset as me. When that started happening it became apparent that I was team-leading the desk anyway, so they gave me the role as help-desk manager.”

He adds that the transition was made simpler because of the training he received. Senior management would feed him information and scenarios then encourage him to think the problem through and find a solution. It’s given Awais the confidence to lead the team and to deal with the broad range of personalities within the team he manages.

“I am a much better manager for it. I’m able to step back and to put processes in place and to do training. My training has taught me that people have to be managed differently, because no two people respond the same way. They all have their own strengths and weaknesses.

“You can tell someone they have to improve; but if they don’t take that information on well they may become defensive – recognising that helps them and helps us.”

In the next year, the growth of the organisation is very much on Awais’s agenda. He recognises the support and opportunity he has received and is keen to replicate that with his team. Once his focus has moved from process and procedure it will very much be on organic growth.

“In the next year I need to put more processes and procedures in place that will guide our teams; it helps to direct the training we need to do. Once that’s done we’ll start to push the client base. Rather than hiring externally, we want to get more clients, get more money and budget that will enable to upskill and promote internally.

“As for myself, I am always keen to grow with the company. I am never going to shy away from responsibility. I like challenges they keep me motivated – so it will be more of the same!”  

Posted in Business, Leadership, SME

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