How to Be Business Savvy Without Even Trying

I am late posting today because of an issue I’ve been dealing with at work.  Yeah, I know, how dare I let work preempt my blogging.  It happens.
I am an IT Manager.  Now days, I’m overseeing the applications in the organization which means dealing with surly programmers, business users, and management types who have great ideas.  I love my job.  I feel I need to throw that out there right away because any cynicism that creeps into this post may imply something different. 
My job is, in essence, to solve business problems using systems.  Sometimes it is pointing out to the business users that they haven’t defined their problem well, thus making it impossible to make something that meets their needs.  In some cases, I can quickly see the improvement opportunities I can bring to the table with technology.  I learned a long time ago, that communication is always key as it knowing when to keep your mouth shut.
I think that last statement is the key to my posting.  You want to be business savvy?  Know when to talk, and when to shut up.  Look past what is being said, and understand what is a political rat’s nest, and what is real opportunity for improvement.  Be mindful of what you know, what you don’t know, and be able to tell the difference.  And, be honest about it.
And, the final piece of wisdom: don’t bitch about your boss…..especially if she has a lot of internal “net worth” built up in the organization…..oh, and don’t bitch about your boss to someone she has worked with for 13 years and also is friends with.  
Yeah, that last one is the root of the issue I’m dealing with right now.  I’ve got a lot of great Scottish blood running through my veins, and repressing the desire to go rip him limb from limb in front of an audience of his peers is a challenge.  My father was in the military for 25 years, so I’m employing something I learned from him – I’m going to crawl up this guy’s ass instead.  He thinks I’m a pain in the ass; he ain’t seen nothing yet.  Oh, and I should also point out, I have learned enough from HR over the years, that it will be a pretty airtight firing when it happens.  Yeah, I know I shouldn’t say “when”, I should say “if” because he has a final chance to redeem himself, but I’m not convinced it will happy.
I should point out that I am not being retaliatory.  This guy is a performance problem, so his bitching usually follows a scolding from me or when I put him back on track after he has deviated.  This is something that came to a head a month ago – and resulted in a verbal warning.  Guess this guy didn’t learn.  And, just so that ASM knows, I have already chatted with HR this morning and my direct VP.  Because my temper was on the verge of eruption, I needed to make sure I was seeing things correctly.  Both agree it is a level of insubordination.  The HR person was astounded at the lack of business savvy that person showed. 
Firing people is hard work if it is performance related (and doesn’t involve a huge misstep that translates into grounds for immediate termination – I have experience with one of those, but I’ll leave that for another story…and that one is a good story).  Unfortunately for this guy, he happens to be working for someone who doesn’t mind the work.  That’s why I get paid the big bucks.

What do you think?

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