Top 10 Attributes For Transitioning An Innovative Technology Leader
With changing times, evolving digitization and recurring disruption, organizations, including startups, are undergoing transformation to augment agility in business by yielding efficient leadership policies at the workplace.
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At present, ‘leadership’ is being considered as a tool to strategize emotional and intelligent quotient between an employer and its employees across corporates. With changing times, evolving digitization and recurring disruption, organizations, including startups, are undergoing transformation to augment agility in business by yielding efficient leadership policies at the workplace.
Amidst this, the technology sector, that is booming at a rapid pace, has become a war zone, provoking heavy competition to stay ahead in the global market. And, to compete in this space, whether you have just begun a career or already in the tech sector, here are the 10 most important attributes that will transition you through the way and establish you as a tech leader.
Education fosters the frame of mind and skills that are conducive to innovation and directs an individual to a managerial role in advancing business world. It serves as a starting point and paves a way to acquire requisite skills, critical thinking and aptitude abilities at an intermediate level. Instead of following conventional wisdom, opt for institutions/ eLearning platforms, depending on the area you would like to expertise in, that offer explorative and experiential tech-enabled learning as it truly prepares for real-world challenges.
When I started as a fresh graduate, my team leader gave me an opportunity to architect a Learning Management System (LMS) software and lead product development. The entire process yielded me with a sense of creativity, ownership and cultivate my leadership traits. The impact left on my peers and senior colleagues at the workplace turned out to be a great deal and prompted me to grow further. Contemplating the journey so far, I urge the leaders of tomorrow to always embrace your team to explore and experiment with new ideas. Create a learning environment where they are able to take risks, expose their knowledge, master their skills, learn and re-learn and achieve greatness.
3. Championing CX
‘Develop customer - experience (cx) based strategies’, ‘Customer is king’, ‘Put customers first’ - Not denying these phrases, but let's move ahead and work towards attaining better CX by perceiving it from the other end. Segment into basic factors before delivering a product: Research well → observe the market and trends based on the results, structurize as per customer needs → and perform. This generates a focus to look through the customer and builds loyalty and trust, that will further add value to your business. As a leader, stimulate your team to be a bridge between the customer and their target audience, which might as well open new avenues (a win-win situation for both the parties).
4. Inspire, influence and idolize
Leaders who lead by inspiration, influence, and intuition leave a life-long impression. Always encourage empowerment and tech innovations in the workplace. Engage with Millenials, listen to their ideas and suggestions, act as a platform to discuss shared learning from colleagues and brainstorm on various aspects of the business. This pushes you as a leader to look up to and also help set base a strong team, thereby instituting best practices that both the organization and industry needs. Let everyone idolize you as a leader and grow in their own capacity by adapting leadership lessons from you.
5. Trust above skills
Let people around you be inspired for your leadership skills, but first, let them trust you for who you are. Strive hard to obtain that spot and ensure to sustain it. Protect your team, stick around and voice for them in all situations. This will drive the team to work as one, push them to execute to the next level, and also aid in indulging the company's vision and mission at ease among team members to turn it into a reality.
Raising the trust factor or leading as an influencer among the team members and clients can be achieved only by administering ‘Effective Communication’. Right from the execution phase until delivery, communication acts as a primary tool in any business. Internally, interacting with your colleagues fosters a good working relationship and favours out during a crisis. And, when it comes to business management unless you put out a ‘see-through strategy’ that explains layout, design and final product, retaining an existing or sealing a deal with a potential client is unlikely. Hence, make the best possible way to build an effective one-one as well as email communication skills.
Building a self-sustainable and reliable team is one of the crucial aspects of a tech leader. Begin with practising open and two-way communication with the team. Be it any update or concern, maintain transparency. Empower the team by setting up goals and assigning responsibilities - this enables freedom to experiment and allow them to apply new techniques, and also persuade them to take up more risks. Be a team player and work with them at the grass-root level, be it an idea or solving an ongoing crisis. Engage and brainstorm business development processes and industry insights over informal meetings than following a regular business meeting format. Not only this benefits you with a strong team but also helps you shape up future leaders.
A lot of people I come across the state - “Working for a technology company itself is self mentoring”. While I agree to a part of it, as you work with emerging technologies, but mentoring is much more than what it is. One should not limit to professional experience and responsibilities assigned. As a leader of tomorrow, you should be open to listening, qualify as ‘approachable’ and able to take up criticism. Remember, it is a two-way relationship. As much as you get inspired by a mentor you follow, transform the same to your mentee.
9. Network to Innovate
Staying tuned to the latest trends and current affairs is one of the primary aspects of being a leader. With work and responsibilities piling up, being informed on the news gets arduous over time. This is where ‘networking’ comes to play. As a budding tech leader, you should be able to don the role of a marketer in order to market yourself ( which in turn secures a reputation for the brand/organization you are associated with). Attend conferences, enrol in B2B community groups and strengthen business communications as this enriches your perspective towards the industry itself and ideates new innovative methods for carrying out a novel project.
10. Plan and lead ahead
Leadership is not an easy task. The journey towards it might demotivate at several junctures. How you pick yourself up and progress with skills attained over the journey and plan way forward steps evolves you as a real leader. Plan, identify and re-plan to target your goal. Stay updated and continue to learn new things every day. Encourage your team to acquire industry-relevant skills. Identify your mistakes to avoid failures and list down the points that lead you to success, this way one establishes and strategizes better goals, enabling a smooth transition as a tech leader in the industry.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.