Five Essential Skills for a Leader in IT
Career Advice, Employee Insights
Thinking of taking your career to the next level? Whether you’re looking to move up into management or you’re already a leader in your organization, there is always room to keep learning and improving your leadership skills. Having a deep understanding of technology and the business are important, but there are additional qualities to work on that will make you stand out as a leader. Here are some of the essential skills every leader in IT should aim to develop:
When it comes to being a leader in IT, communication is key for several reasons. Your team is crucial to keeping your organization functioning on a basic level and your people are frequently going to be on the front line for keeping sensitive information safe. As a leader, you will need to be able to communicate clearly with your team members and direct them in their work, sometimes under tight deadlines or during times of crisis. Your team will be looking to you as an example as well as for guidance and clarity, so it’s important that you know how to get your point across in a way that is easy to understand, communicates the importance of the task at hand, and ensures that your team knows exactly what must be done.
A true leader has a deep understanding of people and is able to demonstrate empathy and self-awareness throughout interactions with others. By developing your social intelligence skills, you can move beyond being just a taskmaster and serve as a true leader to your team and within your organization. Socially intelligent leaders listen carefully to their team members, can easily put themselves in another person’s shoes, and are masters at understanding social cues. This is not something you can develop overnight and may take a lot of practice, but the first step is recognizing where you need to focus on learning more and seeking out ways to improve your skills.
With how rapidly the technology landscape can shift in a short time, IT leaders must be able to adapt quickly to change. Whether it’s tackling an urgent tech-related problem in your organization or learning about an up-and-coming new tool like generative AI, the business is counting on you to be at the forefront of new technology. Some personalities thrive on rapid change and exciting new challenges, while others must develop the skills needed to handle them. Recognizing what sort of person you are and learning to become more adaptable is essential to succeeding as a top IT leader.
As a leader within your company, it’s essential to be able to foster strong bonds within your team as well as between your team and other departments. A good leader is able to create a sense of belonging by helping their team work together, sort through disputes in a constructive way, and keep sight of common goals. As an IT leader, you may face challenges such as having a team that works across various locations or time zones, but the need for team building is even stronger under such circumstances. As a strong leader, you will find ways to bring your team together and help each person feel that they are an important piece of the puzzle.
When leading a team, it can be easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day work, but it’s important to take time to develop your team members through mentorship. Recognize the talent you have in front of you and take time to help your people grow and develop their skills to become even better at what they do. By cultivating a strong team, your department will be even better equipped to handle any challenges that come your way. Taking on the challenge of mentoring an employee requires a great deal of patience, but it is highly rewarding to help someone learn and grow in their career.
Ready for Your Next Challenge?
Being a leader is not an easy ask, but it can open many doors if you have what it takes. If you’re looking to take the next step in your career and succeed as a leader in IT, then take a look at our current open opportunities and apply today!