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Three Things MSPs Can Learn From Doctor Who

So taking a slightly more nerdy turn from our usual geeky way of blogging, I thought it would be fun to follow in the footsteps of Network Depot’s blog for the day and borrow some of the hype from the upcoming 50th anniversary Doctor Who episode.

Robyn and I, who you all know well, are both avid Doctor Who fans, so you can imagine that we were both quite excited this morning when the BBC posted a short webisode leading up to the 50th anniversary episode on the 23rd. Unlike Network Depot, though, I would like to take a close look at what we can learn as MSPs specifically, rather than as businesses. So after the break, lets dive in and see some lessons that the Doctor teaches us about how to be a better MSP.

[evp t=”videoboxone” vid=”Mkq8pnvsnQg” title=”Trailer for The Day of The Doctor” size=”0″ group=”Doctor Who” align=”center”][/evp]

The Night of the Doctor Webisode:

[evp t=”videoboxone” vid=”-U3jrS-uhuo” title=”The Night Of The Doctor” size=”0″ group=”Doctor Who” align=”center”][/evp]

Always Have Your Credentials Ready

While I was tempted to comb through every episode of Doctor Who to find the points where the Doctor quotes his credentials. One moment, stood out to me as the best.

[evp t=”videoboxone” vid=”gmjClkKIDYI” title=”The Credentials” size=”0″ group=”Doctor Who” align=”center”][/evp]

If you notice, The Doctor says very little about the mass of failures in his past. All he says is a short selections of who he is and why he is better qualified to do the work than anyone else standing there. When in business scenarios, people are going to question your ability to do the work — especially when there is a fire and sparks flying behind you (it happens on occasion), but you need to calm them and let them know that you are capable. Don’t over promise — but often a tastefully edited selection of why you’re the best in the business is a great way to win people’s trust.

Display Confidence In The Face Of Everything Falling Apart

[evp t=”videoboxtwo” vid=”5ecycHAZtaM” time=”42″ title=”The Doctor’s Confidence” size=”0″ group=”Doctor Who” align=”center”][/evp]

When everyone seems to be gunning for you, remember that you are still in charge. As an MSP, you hold the keys to everything. You don’t need to make threats like the Doctor does in the video above, but you can still take charge of the situation and make sure that everyone knows who is running the show.

I have stepped back and allowed a client to run the show and I can tell you from experience, it doesn’t work. You need to be the one in charge and calling the shots. Clients should be playing by your rules, not you trying to play by theirs. Why? Well, it is possible to play by one client’s rules, but what happens when you have 100 clients? You will kill yourself being passive. So get a bit more aggressive and let your clients take the back seat.

(But be sure to still listen. There is a way to be assertive and still have clients feel like you’re listening to them).

Make Sure You’re Easy To Reach

I know a lot of MSPs have this one down to a science, but speaking as someone who hasn’t always been the easiest to get ahold of, I can tell you that this is paramount. You should have a way for people to contact you, and you should ALWAYS be available. That doesn’t mean you need to be available by phone, per se (though phone is a good one). A lot of MSPs have a ticketing process in place (something we do for support here at Virtual Administrator.) This can be a fantastic way to communicate with clients, but then the trick is to always be checking it. I can tell you Jim, who does a lot of our support here, is nearly fanatical about checking the board for new tickets. I’m pretty sure he can sense it when a new ticket is posted to Connectwise.

The Doctor, unfortunately, is the opposite of this. It took every phone on earth, as well as some kind of special rift along with a giant antenna to get a call in to the Doctor. Lets just say that people aren’t usually as willing to put in this much effort to communicate with you:

[evp t=”videoboxtwo” vid=”Lf1VvuhLDHs” time=”157″ title=”Call the Doctor” size=”0″ group=”Doctor Who” align=”center”][/evp]

Bonus – The Doctor’s Theme Song Is Fantastic To Play At Max Volume While Fixing Computers Late At Night

I dare you to tell me you haven’t rocked out in the shop until the wee hours in the morning at least once in your career. And if you haven’t I don’t think you’re doing it right.

I have to admit, I have been prone to playing the Doctor’s theme while fixing computers in the past. It is incredibly fun to feel like the most clever man in the universe, even if you’re just crushing some Russian or Chinese blackmail scheme.

[evp t=”videoboxone” vid=”SKsOr9YdiXM” title=”Doctor Who Theme Remix” size=”0″ group=”Doctor Who” align=”center”][/evp]

Calling All Doctor Who Fans

If you’re into Doctor Who then leave a call out in the comments. Or feel free to post lessons you’ve learned about running your MSP or living from the show. Or just stories of how you watched the show as a child and it is now ingrained into your DNA much like River Song’s.

Or …. you know…. don’t. But know that deep down, everyone is a doctor who fan ;).

Photo credit: © BBC/BBC Worldwide

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