Things change in the business world, and there are few places the changes are happening faster than in IT leadership. Today’s IT management looks very different from what it was 10 years back, or even 5 years ago.
Leaders in IT are no longer simply the best at technology—for great IT managers, the requirements are more complex and demand stronger soft skills. The uber-geek stereotype has long vanished from the IT leader lexicon.
Here are four traits that define the true greats in IT management.
Mastery of communication
Communication is a fundamental skill for any business leader. Those who struggle with communication are unable to coordinate team operations, report results to superiors, or launch elaborate initiatives—and therefore don’t make good leaders.
For IT managers, the necessity of communication goes beyond the ordinary business requirements. Leading tech professionals must be able to communicate complex technical concepts in terms non-IT people can understand, such as other departments, upper management, stockholders, and end users.
IT professionals don’t always believe in the importance of collaboration, since many of the most skilled believe (sometimes rightly so) that they’d do a better job handling things themselves. However, great IT leaders recognize and embrace the value of collaboration—because they know that no one person, even themselves, has all the answers.
Along with encouraging collaboration comes the need for confidence in the rest of your team. If you’re unable to hand over control of a project or task to someone else, you’re making things harder for yourself, and ultimately the entire organization.
The courage to let employees fail
In technology, innovation arises from risk—but risk can lead to failure. Leaders who don’t allow their employees to take that chance typically see their team stagnate and fall behind the curve.
A great IT leader will create an environment where employees feel safe taking risks. This doesn’t mean your team should go ahead and try every crazy idea that crosses their minds. Instead, learn to encourage calculated risks, and refrain from setting harsh consequences for failures.
Taking the long view
Finally, truly great IT managers aren’t continually focused on the current project or rollout. While it’s important to remain involved in the day-to-day operations of your team, you also need to see the bigger picture. Strategic, forward thinking can help you elevate your organization and capture a greater market share.
This skill also involves the ability to look ahead at the industry as a whole, and anticipate upcoming trends and marketplace demands, while maintaining critical functions like security. The best IT leaders are ahead of the curve, making strategic decisions on new directions for their company.
If you are looking for IT manager employment in San Francisco, contact our team today!