How to Become a Strong IT Leader – Strategic IT Staffing Solutions

The Key to Being a Great IT Leader

There are some leaders that seem to motivate their teams with little or no effort, while others struggle to get things done.  How do those great leaders manage to drive results? Through the realization that it is people that drive the mission. Truly effective IT leaders do not manage from a position of authority. Instead, they work hard to acquire the active involvement of the teams they lead.

Authority will always have limits. Managers can give directions, but those directions do not always come with a commitment from those executing the tasks at hand. In order to achieve team goals, everyone must come together and collaborate, and that cannot and will not happen just because a manager “says so.”

Emulating Effective Leaders

If you want to become an effective IT leader, think about the best and worst bosses you’ve had throughout your career. Odds are, your favorite managers tapped into your skills and talents and helped you become a more effective and productive employee. On the other hand, your least favorite bosses probably stifled your productivity and cultivated an environment where it was difficult to realize your potential.

In order to lead like those you admire, and avoid emulating your least favorite managers, strive to achieve the following:

  • Lead by example – Don’t ask your team to do anything you wouldn’t be seen doing – and let them see you doing it from time to time. Roll up your sleeves and do whatever it takes to get the job done. Be the first person to arrive and the last person on the team to go home each night.
  • Treat your team like adults – Delegate responsibly and give your team members the space to complete those tasks.
  • Meet with each team member every week – Check in with every member of the team one-on-one each week, even if it’s just for five minutes. Show an interest in their projects as well as their long-term career goals, and take actives steps to help them achieve success.
  • Ask your team what they need from you – Ask each team member what they need from you in order to reach their goals. More importantly, give them what they ask for.
  • Provide regular feedback –Feedback doesn’t always have to be formal. If you see someone doing something well, tell them immediately. If you see someone struggling, talk to them about it. Don’t wait for a formal performance review to provide important feedback that can help strengthen the team today.
  • Eliminate “I” from your vocabulary – Think only in terms of the team. When the team succeeds, acknowledge their hard work and thank them. When the team struggles, ask what you can do to help get them back on track.
  • Ask them how you’re doing – Ask your team to provide you with regular feedback. What is it about your style that is working for them – or not working for them? Use their input to help develop a stronger leadership style.

As an IT leader, you must remember that products, services, customers, and technology come and go. It is the people that remain, and those people drive the success of the business. By putting those people first, you can become a great leader that your teams will remember even after you’re gone.

If you want to learn more about effective leadership that will motivate your team, contactVector Technical Resources today.  Our experienced, professional recruiters in the Washington, DC area can help you locate managers who have a successful track record of leading strong teams, and we can help you enact programs to help you strengthen your existing leaders.