Critical Skills For A Chief Technology Officer

What are the critical skills required to be an effective chief technology officer or other tech leader like a CIO?

Important for a move into senior tech management roles is to shift your mindset, from the technical to the managerial.

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6 Skills For A CTO

1. Learn the art of delegation. You can’t do everything.

2. Good communication skills are crucial. You can’t operate in a silo and will have to speak with a wide range of stakeholders.

3. Negotiation becomes an integral element of a tech leaders role, with team, suppliers, the CEO, customers.

4. You need to become the futurologist for your company and map out the strategy based on an understanding of changes ahead.

5. Mentoring is crucial, whether you become mentor or mentee. You need to lead the team but not forget to get support yourself.

6. Linked to negotiation but budgeting is super important. You need to be able to forecast future tech requirements.

Different Types of Tech Leader

Accidental CTO

Quick Rise, Reward In Stock

You can rise very quickly within a small, early stage company and sometimes you can fall into the role, almost by accident. The learning curve is enormous but there can be risk and you might have to work at below market rates during the early stages. That’s the bad bit, the good bit is you get to create products and drive innovation from the start.

Established CTO

Security, Clear Career Path

More established the business, more secure (hopefully) the income and working environment. A steady, focused career path is what many of our mentees prefer and that requires clarity on where you want to go, the skills you need to acquire and what’s needed when you get to the top. It can be lonely up there, so prepare your skill set well.

Other Roles

Knowing Yourself

There are a wide range of different tech leadership roles, including CIO, Head of Development, VP Engineering etc.  Different roles do have different responsibilities so you need to have a clear idea of what you need, who you are, before you decide on which path to pursue. Know yourself first, choose that career path second.

Boost Your Income, Build Your Skills

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Moving From Technical To Managerial

Any senior role requires a shift of skill set so whatever your specific motivation, build up the managerial as well as the technical skills

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Build Those Communication Skills

Progress within a company and/or a career is often about people, about understanding and communicating with people

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Move From Out From Behind The Keyboard

Senior management and higher salary expectations mean you need to get out more, at least out from behind the keyboard

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Consider A Mentor

Mentoring can be a very powerful 121 tool for building up your management skills and confidence. Find someone who has been through that journey, work with them on yours

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Transform Your Skill Set, Turbo Charge Your Career