On Being a New IT Director

I started a new job on Monday, and I sent this email to my new geeks:

Here’s the deal with this email: I want to set up individual meetings with you, but I also want to give each of you the opportunity to email me the answers to some of the questions first, so we don’t have to take up too much of your time at the meeting itself. It looks like my calendar is up to date with all two of my appointments, so please schedule a meeting with me for 30 minutes to 2 hours–whatever amount of time you’d like to have to chat, ask and answer questions, etc.

Here are questions (for the first eight or so, it might especially be useful for me to have your emailed response. Otherwise, I’m perfectly fine with just chatting about the rest.):

  1. What are your scheduled hours, and what hours do you actually usually work?
  2. Do you carry some sort of device with which you check your email evenings and weekends?
  3. When is your birthday (month/date)?
  4. What is your favorite cake from Rosie’s? (or let me know if you can’t/don’t eat sugar)
  5. What is your favorite caffeinated beverage?
  6. What is your favorite alcoholic type of beverage? (or let me know if you don’t drink)
  7. What’s the best bribe a boss has ever given you? Nothing illegal, please. Please note that the use of the word “bribe” is used in a joking manner in the first sentence of #7.
  8. Does it bother you to have someone (that would be me) swing by your office periodically during the day to make sure you’re still breathing and that your head hasn’t exploded?
  9. Did you understand my sense of humor in the previous two questions, or am I just overly tired?
  10. What does your typical day look like with regard to your tasks, duties, and stress level?
  11. What are your assigned responsibilities?
  12. What extra responsibilities have you undertaken?
  13. Is there anything that you really should be doing but simply cannot get to due to staffing, time, burnout, etc.?
  14. What are your current projects?
  15. What does your to-do list look like?
  16. What do you want your current job to look like (yes, in a perfect world)?
  17. What do you want to be when you grow up?
  18. What do you see as the next step in your career?
  19. What changes would you like to see in the IT Department in the next year?
  20. What do you definitely NOT want to have changed in the IT Department?
  21. What would you like the IT Department to look like in 5 years?
  22. What kind of boss would you like me to be?

Any questions? I’m happy to answer the first few if you’d like…