HABITS OF SUCCESSFUL TECHNOLOGY LEADERS
ConnectPoint Search Group
With the ever-evolving business climate, the past year has challenged technology leaders in countless ways – including how to successfully lead their teams. To remain competitive, a technology leader must not only excel within their role individually but must also focus on building a robust team with a thriving culture and modernizing business for growth. It is surely no easy feat to tackle, however, implementing these 5 habits of successful technology leaders will help to navigate the new normal and guide you to lead your team well.
5 Habits of Successful Technology Leaders
Leaders are best served by building good habits and leading by example, setting the tone for their team with action. Adaptability is key and, with the widespread workplace shift of 2020 as the accelerator, successful technology leaders will effectively lead by focusing on cultivating collaboration, leading empathetically, improving communication, prioritizing learning, and team empowerment.
“The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own personal example.” – John Wooden
1 | Cultivate Collaboration
Strong leaders value the input and efforts of their teams; thus, it is essential to nurture an environment of collaboration. This is especially true for technology teams, as the impacts of the processes and tools that they create are essential to internal functionality and customer satisfaction. Bridge the gaps between individuals by inviting your team to the table to broaden the focus and increase understanding of how outcomes are produced. Further, utilize a collaboration tool to provide support, hone consensus, and cultivate an environment of collaboration.
2 | Lead Empathetically
Skill will always remain a primary factor in the success of a technology leader, however, trends of focusing on Emotional Intelligence (“Emotional Quotient” – “EQ”) are tipping the scale these days. EQ measures soft skills, such as emotional awareness, empathy, the ability to manage emotions and apply them to tasks, and problem resolution. Studies show that the EQ of a leader will affect retention, and, on the flip, EQ also affects the ability of an individual to succeed. This is becoming even more true as professionals are faced with managing the challenges that the pandemic brings. The capacity to recognize and manage emotions greatly improves the ability to connect with your team and lead empathetically.
What’s Your EQ? Find out here.
3 | Improve Communication
Effective communication is essential. One of the easiest ways to cultivate collaboration and lead empathetically is to improve communication. Communication is a two-way street and is often guided by trust. Ultimately, when you listen to and communicate with your team, your team will be more inclined to listen and communicate with you. Eliminate gray areas that create room for assumption and mistakes through effectively communicating with your team. Actively listen; seek to understand and respond with action. Be intentional about providing clear and concise feedback, however, also be mindful to grow a blameless culture. If your team trusts that they can communicate openly without fear of what might come next, transparency will improve.
“Do not listen with the intent to reply. Listen with the intent to understand.” – Stephen R. Covey
4 | Prioritize Learning
Now more than ever, technology leaders are being called to innovation. To remain competitive, a technology leader must not only excel within their role individually but also focus on building a robust team and modernizing business for growth. If you are a leader with a growth mindset and continually pursue and practice new knowledge, talented technology professionals will want to work for you. Grow your team by leading by example; prioritize learning, both for yourself and for your team. Provide formal training and education, create growth plans, and upskill your team through the collaboration between roles.
Further, to improve engagement, create a better understanding of how pieces of projects and processes connect. This allows a better understanding and appreciation of what part each person plays on the team. Without continuous learning and growth opportunity, people become stagnant. Stagnant employees and are more likely to become disengaged and move on to new opportunities. Allow employees to guide their career path by prioritizing learning.
“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch
5 | Team Empowerment
To be a successful technology leader, empower your team to change. Change is not always easily accepted, but if 2020 taught us anything in the business world, it is that adaptability is key. Empower your team through the encouragement of creativity and innovation, improvement of processes, technologies, culture, and self through learning and growth. As a leader, you have built your team with talented professionals based on their capabilities; nurture trust by empowering your team to make business-centric decisions. When employees feel empowered to make decisions, they are more likely to take personal ownership over their production and remain highly engaged.
“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” – Steve Jobs