10 Signs of Strong Leadership in Tech

Technology & Business News

10 Signs of Strong Leadership in Tech

Workforce Development

The Age of Technology 

Many workplaces have undergone major and minor changes to their daily operations due to the worldwide pandemic. The stay-at-home order prompted several businesses to introduce remote work, providing many with the chance to keep their jobs under varying circumstances while completely relying on tech. In contrast, many lost their jobs as their companies were incapable of making the transition. After 2+ years, many are still adjusting and learning innovative systems, new approaches, and shifting internal dynamics.

Now, perhaps more than ever before, adapting business practices is essential to sustaining growth momentum. An effective leader knows that change is inevitable and prepares for how to aid their employees to make these changes efficiently and effectively – whether it be personal, operational or employee improvement.

The Benefits of Quality IT Leadership 

With increasing cybersecurity & IT needs, capable IT professionals in management roles are more in demand than ever before. Quality IT leadership is a necessity for employee engagement and overall workplace development and requires a unique skillset. These leaders are particularly important during a transition period, as employees value being guided and heard. Quality leaders “serve as the connectors of the parts of the system” - they communicate the need for each part to work with all the others. When the parts are brought together systematically, they are supported by data and repeatable over time.” Powerful IT leaders are connectors, team players, strategists, guides and so much more! 

  • Tip: If you are an IT professional and were recently promoted to a management role, or you have ambitions to attain a management role, consider joining a leadership and development course for ‘Transitioning into Leadership for IT Management’. You will learn how to develop an inspiring vision, empower members to reach their goals, meet deadlines, evaluation results and acquire all the skills necessary to successfully transition into an IT manager role.

How does an Effective IT Leader lead their company? 

1) Going with the Flow 

Change is inevitable but adapting is a choice. Jeff Fields, CIO at Servpro says that “being able to adapt to constantly changing technology is a key trait.” To keep a tech business afloat, employees must be engaged, and the leader must encourage growth at every stage ensuring the new innovative practices are worth it and necessary. “It’s important to know what applied technologies and collaborative tools will help your employees do their jobs better so that you provide the service your customers need when they need it. I think the remote world we’ve all known throughout the past year has certainly emphasized the importance of this, but I think it’s key for managers no matter what the circumstances.”

2) Making the Right Decisions Under Pressure and Uncertainty

Great leaders are not afraid to make decisions and find solutions in times of uncertainty and pressure. Jenai Marinkovic, Chief Technology and Security Officer with Tiro Security, and a member of the ISACA Emerging Trends Working Group explains that “in the near-normal where disruptions such as the pandemic accelerated the adoption of diverse emergent technologies, predicated by rapid changes in business strategies, the managers of tomorrow need to become more comfortable with decision making in conditions of extreme uncertainty.” Navigating these hard times with your employees creates a larger sense of community and builds trust.

  • Tip: Consider joining a leadership & professional development course for ‘Making the Right Decisions Under Pressure’. This course will evaluate options, generate possible solutions, and decide on logical strategies.

3) Coach and Train

Delivering solutions is not the only task of a leader. A great leader coaches, trains, and aids their employees to learn how to deliver solutions! In other words, “The day you were promoted to manage a team of managers was the day your job ceased to be managing technology. From that point on, your job has been to inspire and enable the members of your teams to be their professional best every day, and to become better and better each day.” said IT Management Consultant and IT Leadership Coach, Bob Kantor.

  • Tip: Consider joining a leadership & professional development course for ‘Effective Leadership Through Coaching’. This will help you enable others to grow and fulfill their potential by coaching them to discover and apply their talents and strengths.

4) Expanding Your Emotional Intelligence

No person is perfect, so this means no leaders are perfect. Perfect leaders do not exist but great leaders that recognize their flaws and work on them do. Their effectiveness in the workplace has nothing to do with a lack of shortcomings, but everything to do with their integrity and how they carry themselves. Dan Roberts, CEO of Ouellette & Associates Consulting said, “Having studied, mentored, and trained IT leaders for more than three decades, I have found that those who are self-aware have a distinct advantage. There are a new set of expectations today we refer to as ‘power competencies’ that differentiate high performing leaders, including influencing without direct power, leading change, and the ability to communicate in a noisy world.”

5) Micromanaging is not Desired or Effective 

Trusted IT leaders let go of the need to micro-manage and lean into trusting their employees. They know that there is a greater advantage in building trust than overseeing every little occurrence. Vishwastam Shukla, CTO of HackerEarth admonishes, “You need to trust your teammates and give them the space needed for them to do their thing, without asking for a minute-by-minute commentary, or prying into every single aspect of their lives.”

  • Tip: Consider joining a leadership & professional development course for ‘Communicating Across Your Organization’. In this course, you’ll learn to build trust and commitment, while motivating others through respectful and authentic interactions.

6) Introducing a Hybrid Work Model

Rich Theil, CEO of The Noble Foundry said “The successful manager builds teams that have both onsite and remote workers and solves all of the challenges that creates for the team” IT leaders can effectively use a more hybrid style of operation than most sectors of work due to the nature of IT work. Some employees can work at home while others in the office and this can effectively create a “work-life” balance effect and encourages a healthy work environment.

7) Everyone is Different 

Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Strong IT leaders come to terms with this and learn what different skill sets exist within their group and to what degree. Shukla says it best, “Think of your team as a Swiss Army Knife - multiple tools packed compactly for maximum effect. Understand every individual's strength and help them map them to their function and deliver efficiently.”

8) Remote Productivity Management 

Every leader hopes for maximum productivity but a great leader knows that communication is key to reaping any measure of productivity. In this case, an IT leader's ability to communicate efficiently through remote means is vital. Sampa David Sampa, regional senior IT auditor, World Vision International, and member of the ISACA Emerging Trends Working Group says plainly, “In the next normal, the most successful IT managers will be those who are able to adapt to effectively managing team productivity remotely. They should be able to collaborate, ensure regular communication, be flexible and patient with their teams”. 

  • Tip: Consider joining and leadership and development course for ‘Managing Remote and Virtual Teams’. You’ll learn how to adjust your management style to successfully improve communication, foster connections, increase productivity, and develop highly successful remote and virtual teams.

9) Prepare for the Future 

Seeing far into the future about what is to come is important for company longevity. Having insight on any future pivots can be learned and understood via research or through an intentional & intimate focus on each team player. Shukla explains that a “good manager should have the ability to foresee what individuals on their team would be faced with in the future. A manager's time and judgment are better utilized in preparing for that future rather than driving the team on daily chores.” 

  • Tip: Consider joining a leadership & development course for ‘Leading Change in a Complex World’. This course will help you to cultivate the leadership skills that you need to influence others and guide them through times of change.

10)  Kindness and Curiosity Matters

Being present enough to learn more about your employees and showing kindness towards them brings back the humanity in the office. Every member has a story and wants to feel like they are a part of them team. An environment where employees feel like they come first is an important factor in positive workforce development. David Egts, chief technologist, North America Public Sector, Red Hat expressed, “Curiosity can help you uncover not only how people feel but why they feel the way they feel,” he said. “Kindness is also critical. When your team shares their vulnerability with you, you need to reciprocate with understanding and kindness. Your kindness is necessary to have empathy for your team members and the challenges they face. Being kind to yourself is also something all leaders often overlook too. Don't forget to be good to yourself.”

  • Tip: Consider joining a leadership & development course for ‘Building Successful Work Relationships’. You will learn how to build co-operative trust-based relationships that enable you to work productively with other professionals, clearly communicating and respectfully harnessing their distinctive contributions.

Be kind every day. If you’re having a difficult time deciding on what courses to take to further your leadership development or determining a schedule and learning method best suited for you, New Horizons Kingston is always happy to help. Give us a call at (613) 634-8126 or email us at training@kingston.newhorizons.com!

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Author: Mikayla Reid
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