Being a successful tech leader is much more than having an impressive resume and skill set. If you’re looking to become a tech leader or searching for the right person to take a leadership role in your company, look for the following personality traits and skills seen in successful technology leaders.
1. The ability to establish trust
Tech leaders and team managers need to be able to establish trust with both company founders and the colleagues that they’ll work with on a daily basis. In order to bring out the best in the company and its employees, a leader must be able to connect with others to establish a strong basis of trust. Without the ability to form personal connections and converse openly and honestly, the leader might take the company down an uncertain path.
2. A strong vision for the future
If you’re interviewing for a tech leadership position, talk about your history in anticipating a company’s needs and adapting when necessary. Tech company leaders often need to go with the flow and feel comfortable with making changes based on industry trends. To stay relevant in an increasingly competitive industry, tech leaders should be able to analyze data and make rational decisions in response. Successful tech leaders like Activision Blizzard’s Bobby Kotick have a natural ability to visualize the future of a company and motivate others to work towards lofty yet realistic goals.
3. Cohesion with company culture
While qualifications and skills are certainly important for leaders in the tech sector, it’s vital to speak with candidates at length about the company culture to see if they share the same values. Hiring someone with a huge list of qualifications and experience can still be a disaster if they have a different set of values from the company’s.
4. Excellent problem-solving skills
Tech companies of all sizes tend to challenge interviewees with on-the-spot problems to solve. It’s not always about who can solve the problem the fastest or in the most efficient way, but the ability to thoroughly explain their process in a way that others can easily understand or learn from. If you feel that you need to brush up on your step-by-step explanation skills before your interview, practice solving problems on a whiteboard with a friend in the room and ask for feedback.
5. A strong work ethic
If you’re going in for a tech leadership interview, showcase your resume as well as your personal projects. While the school that you went to and your previous jobs are important, it’s also helpful to show that you’re motivated to work on tech solutions even during your time off. Programming or other pet projects are always a plus, even if they’re not perfectly polished at the time of your interview. Hiring managers for tech companies usually have a long list of qualified candidates, but showing your passion for technology can set you above the competition.
6. An agreeable personality
While it’s true that tech leaders need to be tough and unwavering in some aspects of the job, it’s also smart to look for someone who has an agreeable personality. Talented programmers and others in this industry have plenty of other options when it comes to finding a place to work, and they’ll likely jump ship if people in leadership roles are too demanding or unwelcoming. Instead of being unwilling to listen to employees, those in leadership positions should be able to accept constructive criticism and use that to their advantage.
7. Top-notch management skills
While it may seem obvious that a leader should possess excellent management skills, this isn’t always a top priority for other hiring managers. Newbies can be a wonderful addition to your management team, but they should be able to demonstrate that they’re able to delegate efficiently in order to keep the team moving at an acceptable rate. If you believe you’ve found the ideal candidate, but you’re not quite sure about their management skills, have the new leader spend a few weeks or even months in on-the-job training to get up to speed.
Everyone has their own way of dealing with others, especially when it comes to motivating and inspiring their employees. Read Leadership Styles: What Type of Leader Are You? to find out what kind of leader you are.