How is IT Leadership Different?

Nearly all company leaders have to balance the needs of their team and the organization, while also taking their own goals into account. They need the ability to keep the big picture in mind at all times as well as the capacity to view situations from the perspective of another.

While most leaders require the same core skills, IT leadership does vary slightly from the standard. If you want to be an exceptional IT leader, here’s what you need to know.

Continuous Learning Must Be a Priority

In the business world, almost nothing changes as quickly as technology. Since new innovations and emerging tech become part of the standard paradigm fast, failing to keep pace with these developments means your knowledge falls short of what is necessary to thrive.

IT leaders need to make learning and professional growth a priority. Often, this requires setting aside time to stay abreast of emerging tech and determining whether it could be beneficial to the company.

Similarly, the continuous development of key leadership skills, including everything from strategic thinking to conflict resolution, is also essential. Falling behind in these areas can be as detrimental to your career as failing to monitor the shifting technology landscape.

Communication Skills Are Critical

While every manager needs strong communication skills, IT leaders often have to navigate a particularly tricky aspect of knowledge sharing that others don’t always face. It isn’t uncommon for IT managers to need to explain complex and highly technical details to someone who doesn’t work in the field, and this requires a strong command of language and the ability to adapt how they present information based on the people involved.

Additionally, exceptional listening skills are crucial. IT leaders often have to be able to read between the lines and translate a person’s expressed needs into technical requirements. Without being an active listener, it’s easy to miss critical points that can make the difference between a project being a success or a failure.

Problem-Solving is Used Daily

Problem-solving is at the heart of nearly every IT position, and leadership roles are no exception. It requires a combination of the right knowledge base, a willingness to experiment and the ability to ask the right questions to get to the core of the issue.

However, it also means knowing when you don’t have the required level of expertise. This ensures that, should the need arise, you are open to requesting input from members of your team who operate in that specific technical area, ensuring the best solution can be identified regardless of your personal shortcomings.

Ultimately, to be a successful IT leader, the skills above are must-haves. Otherwise, you’ll struggle to rise through the ranks, limiting the growth of your career.

If you’d like to know more about critical skills for IT leaders or are looking to advance your career, the team at The Squires Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our skilled staff members today and see how our IT industry expertise can benefit you.

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