To thrive in the challenging IT world as an MSP takes more than good technology or hiring a savvy salesperson. The real secret to longevity is building a strong leadership team. By hiring and promoting the right people, a company can tackle tough challenges, face uncertainties with confidence and reach new heights.  

The most successful teams consist of individuals who possess diverse skill sets and complementary strengths. This ensures a well-rounded approach to problem-solving and decision-making, leading to innovative solutions and effective strategies. Additionally, nurturing a culture of collaboration and open communication between all levels of leadership is crucial for building trust and maximizing productivity.  

Here are seven additional tips to keep in mind when choosing who to hire or promote to a supervisory role. 

1. Choose the Right Mix:

By 2044, over half of the American population is projected to belong to a minority group, per the U.S. Census Bureau. That said, it’s important to start with a diverse team that has varied experiences and backgrounds. A combination of technical skills, strategic thinking and a focus on clients forms the foundation for a group that can handle different challenges effectively. By bringing together individuals with unique strengths, the team will be better equipped to handle a wide range of challenges effectively. 

For example, when choosing a supervisor for a customer service team, it would be beneficial to have someone with strong technical skills to troubleshoot any technical issues that may arise, someone with strategic thinking to develop new customer service strategies and someone with a strong focus on clients to ensure customer satisfaction. Our team at IT By Design has worked with Patrick Lencioni’s Working Genius tools to help identify the different unique skill sets within our team, and it’s helped to align complementary players with one another to great effect. It’s been so valuable that we’re bringing them to Build IT LIVE next year.

2. Look for Big Thinkers:

Visionaries who can look beyond the present are usually part of a successful leadership team. These types of people in managed services can predict industry trends, understand client needs and position the organization for future success. This ability to foresee things helps the team make smart decisions, manage risks and seize opportunities in a rapidly changing environment.

3. Encourage Clear Communication:

Open dialogue is crucial for any successful leadership team. It promotes collaboration, aligns team members with organizational goals and ensures everyone is on the same page. Without clarity, individuals may become confused about their roles and responsibilities, leading to inefficiency and misunderstandings.  

Additionally, regular dialogue allows for the sharing of important information and updates, which can help the team adapt and respond quickly to changes in the industry or client needs. Encouraging consistent conversation between all levels of leadership creates a culture of transparency and trust, enabling the team to work together seamlessly and achieve the company’s goals.

4. Embrace Innovators:

The channel thrives on innovation. Look for people who exhibit creative thinking and push others to explore new solutions. These types of personalities will stay updated on the latest technology and can help make the organization a pioneer that offers cutting-edge solutions to clients. 

For example, having managers in the marketing department that embrace innovation can lead to the development of new and effective strategies to reach target audiences. By encouraging creative thinking, the marketing team can identify innovative ways to leverage social media platforms, AI tools and data analytics to drive better results. This constant drive for innovation within the leadership team can set an MSP apart from competitors and position it as a leader in the industry.

5. Make Smart Choices:

Smart decision-making is a key trait that cannot be overlooked. Find people who consistently make decisions that align with the organization’s long-term goals. Strategic thinking involves assessing risks, understanding market trends and making decisions that not only solve current challenges but also set the stage for ongoing success.  

Those who regularly evaluate and leverage market trends can provide valuable insights for making informed decisions that keep the organization ahead of the curve. The ability to make smart choices should be a pre-requisite for any potential leader.

6. Develop Talent:

Sometimes the best leaders are hidden in plain sight. For example, the shy engineer in the corner may be a brilliant strategist and visionary, but she needs some training and public speaking development. Create a workplace culture of continuous learning and growth so those who may not seem like supervisory material at first have the option to improve themselves and find their strengths. You can also use peer feedback tools like Team GPS that will show you who is respected by their peers, and it may be somebody you didn’t realize was so valuable.

7. Using Data for Decisions:

In the digital age, information is powerful. Make sure managers and supervisors are using data-driven insights to make informed decisions. Encourage or train current leadership team members on how to analyze relevant data to make choices that optimize operations, improve service delivery and drive overall organizational success. 

The Blueprint for Leadership Team Success 

By choosing the right mix of talent, embracing innovation, prioritizing effective communication and creating a positive culture, managed services providers can position themselves for lasting success in an ever-evolving industry. While the journey may be challenging, a resilient and visionary leadership team can ensure that the destination is one of triumph and accomplishment. 

For more content like this, be sure to follow IT By Design on LinkedIn and YouTube, check out our on-demand learning platform, Build IT University, and be sure to register for Build IT LIVE, our 3-day education focused conference, September 9-11, 2024 in Orlando, FL!