Anyone can be placed in an IT leadership position; however, what kind of skills does it take to do a good job of being an IT leader? There are a lot of IT managers out there who would like to know the answer to that question. If you are one of them, then I’ve got good news for you – I know what you need and I’m ready to tell you…
The Big Three Traits That You’ll Need
The first of the “must have” traits of effective IT leaders is one that might not come to your mind right off the bat if you were asked to list the most important traits: caring. What this means is that as an IT leader you need to be empathetic with your team: you must feel what they feel.
That’s a big one, but the next trait of an effective IT leader is even more difficult for many of us. As technical professionals we all like it when things are black & white, cut & dried. It turns out that to be an effective IT leader, you are going to have to become comfortable with ambiguity – not having all of the facts that you need and yet still being able to make decisions.
When faced with all of the challenges that you know will be coming your way, you may feel like giving up. However, if you do you won’t be a true IT leader. This is because one of the key traits of an effective IT leader is that they have persistence – they just don’t give up.
Two More For Good Measure
Think that that’s all that you need in order to be a great IT leader? Think again. It turns out that there are two more critical traits that IT leaders have.
The ability to communicate clearly is one of them. If you have the best ideas in the world, it’s not going to do anybody any good if you can’t clearly let others know what you are thinking and what you want them to do.
Finally, being an effective IT leader can only be accomplished by having the resources that you are going to need in order to accomplish your job. This means that you are going to have to become an effective negotiator. You won’t be handed everything that you need. Instead, you are going to have to be able to go out there and successfully negotiate to get it.
What All Of This Means For You
True IT leaders are made not born. This means that you can become an effective IT leader, you just need to know what skills you’ll have to have.
It turns out that there are 5 key skills that every effective IT leader has. These skills are: being caring, being comfortable with ambiguity, being persistent, being a good communicator, and being an effective negotiator.
All 5 of these skills can be learned. I’m not saying that it’s going to be easy, but you can do it. What I can promise you is that the results will be well worth the time and effort that you put into developing these skills.
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™
Question For You: Which of the 5 IT leadership skills (caring, ambiguity, persistence, communications, negotiating) do you think is the most important?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
One of the biggest challenges that modern IT leaders face is how to do a good job of managing their IT team. The burden of making the right technology decisions, managing budgets, and meeting the needs of the rest of the company is challenging enough, but what can make or break a manager is how good of a job you do nurturing and growing your staff. The folks at Google have the same issues and they’ve harnessed their immense computing power to come up with a solution…