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Recognize IT Champions

The IT arena may not be so public and its feats may not be so inspirational, but the courage of its professionals is no less noteworthy. Under the worst technology market conditions in more than a decade, the very best of your peers are rising above the fray with the breadth of their expertise, the flexibility of their approaches, and the depth of their vision and character.

Courage in IT manifests itself in varied ways and situations. There's the courage to break out of your comfort zone or champion alternatives to the status quo--to stand up for what your experience and expertise dictate is in your company's best interests, even if your peers or managers don't see eye to eye with you.

As a manager yourself, value the software developer who pushes the benefits of Linux or Java-based Web services when his company is a Windows shop. Respect the network manager who sticks her neck out for a best-of-breed solution when her company is standardizing on one vendor's systems.

Courage, however, doesn't mean going off half-cocked. It demands that you set aside personal preferences and even vested interests to do what's best for your company as a whole--to see the forest for the trees. Courageous acts are often selfless acts. Admire the project team members who have the guts to recommend an outsourcing arrangement that could threaten their job security. Look up to those courageous enough to admit when they're wrong or in over their heads. No one follows a know-it-all.

Where Credit Is Due

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