As the world adapts to a technology enabled future, the IT department is the core of any business. In recent years, IT leaders have become active members at the top of the business ladder, because they are such an integral part of the overall business operations.
More often than not, a CIO is tasked not only with managing and delivering to IT initiatives but engaging in all aspects of the overall business strategy.
Being an exceptional leader is about more than just getting a job done. A leader needs to be able to balance the goals and objectives of their organisation, while at the same time ensuring their team is fulfilled, motivated and successful.
Becoming a great leader does not happen overnight; rather it is built with many years of experience and education credentials. Leadership courses are a significant pathway to changing and improving management styles especially in IT.
IT is no longer perceived as small business function. It is now widely accepted that, it is integral to an organisation’s survival. The role of the IT leader will continue to evolve, and in turn, so will the people who work with them. For this to be a fruitful journey for all involved, it is critical that leaders are well equipped to drive this change forward.
Deakin University’s Master of Information Technology Leadership is designed for IT managers who are looking to formally recognise their work experience, and take the next step in their career. Find out more.
There are many different types of leadership styles, however, some of the best IT leaders share common characteristics:
The ability to delegate with trust is an important trait for IT leaders. When their employees make sensible decisions and are given autonomy to do so, they will feel supported. Employees tend to work harder when they are recognised and appreciated for their hard work which will in turn only achieve maximum results. However, this is only possible when there is a great leader present providing that motivation.
2. Effective communicator
Communication is at the forefront of any management skill set. In IT, when a leader can clearly and succinctly explain a project or objective to their team, there is a greater chance that the task will be completed diligently and correctly.
Communication also coincides with being approachable. To do this effectively, it needs to be built on a steady two-way communication flow where both verbal and non-verbal tactics, such as demonstrating to a team how to do a task or leaving clear instructions for the team to be able to complete a task on their own are involved.
3. Fostering creativity and innovation
With technology evolving daily, IT leaders must be at the forefront of technological advancements and opportunities. One way that team members are inspired is by witnessing leaders taking risks and bringing new ideas and ways of working to the group.
IT leaders with this trait can inspire others to do the same, instilling a culture of innovation. Organisations that are renowned for fostering creativity and innovation will in turn attract the best talent.
4. Promoting teamwork
Building a team with diverse personalities, motivations and skills is necessary; however, effective teamwork it requires leadership that recognises and harnesses these differences.
Great leaders do more than compel others to follow in their footsteps; they continually motivate employees to strive for own individual goals as well as the company’s. Bringing value to an employee will make a difference because it will have invigorated them to push harder for the success of the company and the employees.
5. Honesty and integrity
Feedback to individuals and teams is an essential part of growing and evolving in the right direction, and leaders should be equipped to provide honest, constructive and meaningful feedback.
Leadership is about being transparent and consistent with rewarding and recognising efforts when they are due. An IT leader should encourage its team to improve their skills through extra training.