To want better for your company means you’re already on the right track—you just need the mindset to pull it off.

As a business, making IT decisions seems like a far cry from leadership on the battlefront. But no matter what kind of orders you’re giving, from mission details to infrastructure assessments, effective leadership demands the same skills.

The Navy SEALs face high stakes daily while protecting our country’s interests. Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, two highly decorated former Navy SEAL commanders, have taken what they learned from their time in service and boiled it all down into four key principles that lead to powerful leadership:

  1. Cover and move
  2. Keep things simple
  3. Prioritize and execute
  4. Decentralize command

Don’t let the name, “The 4 Laws of Combat,” deter you; these are universal skills you can channel into any leadership decision. Here’s how you can apply these four principles into making smarter IT decisions for your company.

1. Cover and Move

It’s dangerous to throw caution to the wind and run out in the open—you need an IT partner that will cover you.

When deciding on a managed services provider (MSP) to entrust your business technology with, ask yourself:

Can you focus on doing your job, (i.e., MOVE), while they cover you?

An MSP that has your back will:

  • Improve your cybersecurity standing.
  • Ensure the safety and operation of your day-to-day operational IT needs.
  • Have written processes and procedures to display how they prioritize and execute their plan for your business (which is another principle)!
  • Pay attention to key details, such as testing the backups.
  • Have your best interests at heart, not the most profitable one for them.
  •  Act with you BEFORE you’re in a critical care situation.

Again, you need the right COVER so you can MOVE.

Remember, your goal isn’t to get shiny new tech for tech’s sake. Your goal is to use the right technology to optimize your business and meet your current needs. This is especially important to consider when you’re in highly regulated industries with stricter compliance requirements.

2. Keep things simple

Our strategy focuses on putting the best IT practices into place. It also means that we prioritize reducing the clutter of the latest and greatest assets sitting in the broom closet. The need for whatever pretty, new software drops on the market is probably costing your business thousands without any ROI.

So, we say keep it simple.

Make sure you have the right foundational infrastructure, systems, and processes in place before you  add anything else. Oftentimes, companies already have what they need but don’t know how to find it or use it (i.e., you don’t need 30 pieces of software to do a task that you can accomplish with a tool you already have). This is where an experienced IT partner can help you do more with less.

At Twin Networks, after we assess your technology environment, we’ll know where most of your IT   noise and clutter lives so that we can reduce and streamline your workflow. After we’re done, you’ll only be paying for what you need.

In essence, we’re “right-sizing” your business technology.

3. Prioritize and execute

If everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority.

Work with your IT partner to focus on the items that will give you the best long-term value instead of getting stuck in the weeds. When you prioritize the biggest need (and threat) first, the smaller, disparate pieces of the puzzle are automatically taken care of.

By planning and prioritizing ahead of time, you also prevent costly, lengthy distractions that eat up your most valuable, finite asset: time.

Track your organization’s progress to find where the tangible goals lie. Be realistic and specific about resource allocation (time, financial, etc.) —maybe your company can complete one big initiative per quarter, instead of four. We may sound like a broken record here but stop chasing the shiny new things and work on improving what you already have with the budget available.

Remember, your MSP is not just a vendor; we’re meeting you at the executive level. Done is better than perfect, and perfect is never done.

4.Decentralize command

One of the most critical skills you can have as a leader is knowing when to hand the baton to the next runner.

Empower other people in your organization to make decisions while keeping realistic expectations. Avoid expecting or demanding perfection from them. Focus instead on being accessible, should you need to course-correct, while encouraging your employee to learn from their mistake.

Entry-level employees shouldn’t be forced to wait for their manager’s approval if a choice needs to be made. For example, in Toyota’s assembly line, it’s policy that anyone can pull the plug if there’s a safety issue. Empower everyone at your company to make autonomous decisions; If everyone feels like they’re apart of the garden, they’ll all do their best to kill the weeds.

You’re ready to deploy!

Using these four principles to make better, more strategic IT decisions will save you money, time, and energy. However, you’ll still need an expert IT partner to help.

Learn more about what an IT partnership with us looks like. Schedule a free consult here.