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In this edition of the DatCom Business Briefing, we discuss: 

  • Profiting from Resilient Leadership 
  • Geek Squad v Genius Bar: Attitudes toward IT Support 

Profiting from Resilient Leadership 

You’re at work with emails piling up, phone calls to return, and your schedule is full. Suddenly, a large puff of smoke bursts from thin air. When it clears, you see a butler holding a silver platter. He removes the lid and there, resting on a pillow, is a bright red telephone. 

It rings.  

You pick up the phone and a winsome voice clearly identifies the problem that’s been plaguing you for months. They speak your lingo, they’ve partnered with companies you admire, and they are dialed in to your needs. And then you hear it: a solution that’s compelling and easy to implement. Two weeks later and you’re on board for smooth sailing with no clouds in sight. 

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If only it worked that way! 

But you wouldn’t be a resilient leader if it did. And your team at work would suffer if all you ever demonstrated was an ability to pick up a magical red phone and receive your answer. It’s a leader’s job to demonstrate perseverance. And smooth sailing can be the adversary of developing the character, toughness, and tenacity of a resilient leader. 

When your team sees your resourceful response to business challenges, they’ll have someone to imitate. When they see that you can adapt to the inevitable disappointments and change that rock the boat, they’ll have greater confidence. 

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Yet, they won’t develop the same depth of character if you don’t trust them with failure. To get the experience they need, you’ll have to let them exercise your model of resilience. With permission from you to fail upward, they’ll be honest with you about their work. If you don’t let them fail, they’ll tend to only shine a light on their hustle, creating shadow processes that hide inefficiencies.

By spotlighting successes and setbacks, you cultivate resourcefulness because your team will be more comfortable in tough situations. It helps them see the big picture and it hones their perceptions to operate more effectively under any circumstance. They’ll bring you good ideas that reflect a better sense of the ebb and flow of business. And they’ll be able to leave bad ideas on the cutting room floor because they won’t be acting out of frantic desperation.  

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Inevitably, they’ll demonstrate their comfort with your leadership to others. They’ll also exude confidence as the face of your company, passing it on to prospects, customers, and stakeholders. After all, who is more likely to generate interest, close a sale, or inspire confidence in clients? It’s the team member who truly believes in what they have to offer. And ultimately, they are selling the fruit of your resilient leadership. 

 Always remember: employee resourcefulness and customer satisfaction come from your own true grit, and your ability to pass it on with humility. 

Cultivating resilient leadership is important in every area of your business, and that includes your approach to business technology. Resilient leaders respond to IT frustrations with determination, seeking to understand and embrace IT as a critical business asset. 

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Next up: We discuss attitudes toward IT Support through the lens of two popular consumer IT support services. 

Geek Squad vs. Genius Bar: Attitudes Toward IT Support 

 Business leaders today range from older Millennials to seasoned Baby Boomers with Gen Xers in between. An important difference between these generations is their experience of and attitudes toward Information Technology. Generally, these generations also have different expectations from IT Support professionals. 

Here, we look at these attitudes by examining two different brands of consumer IT support services. 

The Best Buy Geek Squad 

Geek Squad was originally an independent company founded in 1994 that merged with Best Buy in 2002. The service includes in-store and at-home IT support. Over time, market research determined that more Boomers and Gen Xers were using the service. And this makes perfect sense because of the Geek Squad brand personality.  

In terms of branding, the Geek Squad is a team of plucky special agents who come to the rescue when technology isn’t working properly. The word, “geek” used to be a negative term for people obsessed with the intricacies of technology. Their early adoption of information technology allowed them to work with gadgets and gizmos that non-enthusiasts find mysterious and daunting. 

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The Geek Squad could come right to a person’s home and affirm that it’s okay to need help with technology. A Geek Squad special agent might say: “Computers can be frustrating and you don’t have time to sort it out. It’s okay that you’re not a tech enthusiast because we are. We’re the wizards who can get you out of a jam. You get to focus on what’s important to you.” 

It’s easy to see why older generations are more likely to call the Geek Squad. They attended college and worked in office settings before the digital revolution. They became independent adults without the Internet and computers. They know how to use them to accomplish discrete tasks and keep up with their friends and family. 

Apple’s Genius Bar 

Developed by Apple in 2001, the Genius Bar represents a different approach to IT support focused on shared enthusiasm. Both the technicians and the customers love the Apple brand and the sleek technology that makes it special. It’s for technology enthusiasts who want to accentuate their personal style with technology, rather than in opposition to it. 

Apple enthusiasts slide up to the Genius Bar and sit like patrons at a cocktail lounge. Employees are geniuses, not geeks. Apple Geniuses are specially trained to uphold the vision of the brand to enhance life with technology. Patrons are geniuses as well because they’ve made smart technology choices that help them remain hip, active, and technologically competent. 

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The Apple Brand represents a desire for the seamless integration of technology with the rest of life. In a world where people use Apple products, there’s much less of a distinction between IT support professionals and others. We’re all geniuses here. 

Business Leaders and IT Support 

In the past, it was perfectly reasonable for business leaders to view IT as though it were a mysterious and daunting aspect of modern business. Their attitude was: “Okay, we need these guys to compete, but their knowledge is so special that they don’t see the big picture the way an executive leader does.” 

However, in recent years we’ve seen more integration between the worlds of executives and IT professionals, with larger businesses and enterprise organizations having Chief Information Officers. These executives are the senior leaders in a company who are responsible for ensuring that the technology helps the organization achieve business goals. 

 Due to the nature of small businesses, most outsource their IT support. Many rely on IT providers who are more like the Geek Squad than the Genius Bar. Remember, the Geek Squad is here to rescue you when the technology is broken so that you can run your business. Many of these providers aren’t acting proactively in the best interest of your business goals.

At DatCom, we work best with clients who aspire to integrate technology with work in exciting ways using new tools that most small businesses aren’t aware of. We’ve invested more so that our clients can expect more. Our approach to business IT is more like the Apple Genius Bar than the Geek Squad because we integrate IT with business efficiency and strategy. 

Discover the ways we integrate business IT and business strategy.