What are the key attributes required to be an effective chief technology officer or other tech leader like a CIO?
What do you need to learn or improve if you’re going to successfully transition from the technical to the managerial?
We look here at what really matters to be an effective tech leader. The softer skills that can make all the difference.
1. Learning the art of delegation. You can’t do everything.
2. Modern leadership thrives around authenticity and empathy.
3. Empowering and influencing people that their journey is aligned to yours.
4. An ability to build an effective tech team, an eye for spotting and nurturing talent within your team members.
5. Communicating effectively with all stakeholders, particularly non-technologists.
6. Understanding the psychology of people including yourself, and how curiosity, biases and other factors impact decision making
7. Building the right ecosystem of partners and platform to enable innovation and deliver an effective technology strategy
Unexpected Promotion, Rapid Change
Rising very quickly within smaller companies you can sometimes fall into a tech leadership role, almost by accident. We call this the Accidental CTO scenario where the learning curve for your managerial skills is steep but you get to create products and drive innovation from the heart of the business. Downside is you’re under pressure from the start and there might not be much runway. We work with Accidental CTOs’ around the world to help them accelerate their skill set and cope with rapid change..
Time For Change, Lonely At The Top
CTOs working in an established company and with many years of experience, still often require support and guidance about key decisions, productivity and wider career aspirations. They join CTO Academy for a skills top up, leadership insight. Sometimes it’s to negate a sense of isolation with key decisions, what we call Lonely At The Top’ where our mentors and coaches can provide an expert, objective sounding board.
Finding The Right People, The Best Role
We work with clients and candidates around the world. Our holistic approach to professional growth and career development means we can offer training and coaching, alongside more traditional recruitment and career support. Whether it’s helping key people advance within a company or finding and nurturing external appointments so you can accelerate the onboarding/upskilling process.
Not all companies require a CTO to cover all of these management skills but team building, contributing to the performance of the tech team and wider business goals, and a strong knowledge and understanding technology trends are probably minimum expectations when you reach the senior level in your career path.