Leaders are an important part of any business.
The right leadership inspires your employees, keeps everyone moving in the right direction and ensures that you’re equipped to overcome common challenges.
While all leaders have challenges to face, from dealing with office conflict to supporting an ever-growing selection of different generations in the workforce, IT leaders face a unique range of issues. In the technology space, modern leaders must move at an increasingly rapid pace, evolving to suit new marketplace trends, while maintaining accuracy, reliability and high levels of performance.
Why Tech Leadership Is Different
The pace at which today’s technology landscape is changing means that leaders will always have new challenges to deal with when managing their teams.
IT managers need to support a diverse range of staff members. Some of those people will be willing to embrace the latest software and hardware as it emerges, others will need additional training, or may prefer to specialise in specific areas.
Additionally, succeeding in the technology sector doesn’t mean grabbing every new trend as it appears. Technology leaders need to be able to understand and evaluate each new opportunity as it relates to their business. For instance, they may need to decide whether their marketing team is ready for AI, or the sales team can benefit from automation.
Just some of the pressures IT leaders face include:
- Installing new technology according to ever-changing compliance and regulatory issues
- Dealing with the rapid rate and pace of change
- The pressure to explore new concepts yet simultaneously reduce cost every year
- The need to innovate without alienating employees are causing turnover
- Dealing with legacy systems alongside new technology
So, which characteristics prepare a tech leader to deal with these complex challenges?
1. Confidence and Decisiveness
As technology continues to evolve at an increasingly rapid pace, today’s tech leaders cannot afford to procrastinate over important business decisions.
While some choices need to be assessed carefully, a good tech leader must assess issues quickly, and respond both quickly and decisively to problems. In other words, today’s IT leaders need to be agile.
Not only will the IT managers in your company be able to make good decisions quickly on behalf of the business, but they’ll also be confident enough to stick by their choices. These people can explain the reasons for their decisions in a clear and concise manner, linking processes back to the goals of the organisation.
2. The Ability to Innovate and Inspire
Technology employees are naturally passionate people. IT leaders are the people that lead the way towards an innovative company culture, building on the existing love that staff members have for their sector and encouraging them to accomplish new things.
As thrilling as the fast-moving pace of technology can be, it’s also stressful for some. The right leadership needs to be in place to continue inspiring employees when things get tough. Leaders are willing to take risks, try new things, and remind their team that it’s okay to make mistakes sometimes.
3. An Empowering and Collaborative Nature
Think about some of the biggest tech leaders in the world – Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, or even Mark Zuckerberg. The reason that these people were successful in their roles is that they know how to empower others and work well as part of a team.
Though great leaders can act independently, they also know how to drive progress as part of a team, giving their staff the support, tools, and guidance, they need to succeed. Top technology leaders will constantly seek out ways to remove the barriers to performance and accelerate the pace of projects so that teams can see results fast.
4. Great Communication Skills
All leaders need strong communication skills. However, IT leaders must be particularly proficient at getting their message across in a range of different languages.
A tech manager needs to be able to discuss concepts with their high-performing staff members using the jargon and industry terms that they’re used to. At the same time, these same leaders need to find a way to explain ideas to people outside of their team using plain English.
Powerful tech leaders are fluent both in the language of business and the language of technology, which makes them a fantastic point of contact for everyone in the company.
5. Willingness to Learn and Grow
Tech leaders are under constant pressure to evolve. Like all managers, they have fires to put out and deadlines to deal with. However, at the same time, they also need to make sure that they’re setting their company up for success dealing with current trends and industry changes.
Professional development and constant growth are the only ways for a tech leader to make sure they don’t get left behind in this fast-paced environment. These managers are constantly looking for new ways to expand both their business skills and their technology knowledge.
Unlike other leaders who can simply keep their head down and focus on solving problems that arise in an organisation, there’s always something new to discover for a tech leader.