What Makes a Good Leader in Tech?

What does it mean to be a great leader? For many tech companies, the definition of a great leader is someone who rallies his or her troops to get things done. A great leader may also prove something of a visionary, predicting where markets will go.

But people often diverge when it comes to defining a great leader’s personality; some are okay with a boss who acts tyrannically, so long as the ends justify the means. Others think that effective leadership is only possible when one treats employees well.

Whatever your definition, here are some things that anyone in a leadership role can practice to become more successful:

Leaders Tend to Listen

Actively listen to what your employees tell you, and regularly seek their openness and candor without any consequences. This way, the feedback will have a greater chance of being truthful.

The best leaders always respond to questions, address concerns in a short period of time, and, above all, listen with empathy.

Leaders Organize Their Thoughts

Never present an argument you haven’t fully thought through; this tends to undermine leadership and shows weakness. If you’re trying to communicate the vision and direction to your people, spend a few minutes organizing what you want to deliver to ensure the message is clear.

Leaders Know How to Communicate

If you’re a better speaker than a writer, speak more often. You probably have employees who are excellent writers, can design killer presentations, or know how to speak with the media; let them take the lead on those initiatives. Leaders aren’t afraid to partner with people who have the skills to make them better at communicating on any platform.

Don’t limit yourself to any one platform. Anything you need to communicate should go out through multiple streams to make sure you’re reaching everyone who needs to hear your message. (And although you may have multiple platforms at your disposal, you need to observe all personal and professional lines before you communicate; when in doubt, involve your HR team to review missives before they’re dispatched.)

Leaders Involve the Right People

Good leaders make a point of bringing in the right people for all efforts. Involving all stakeholders from the start will reduce duplicate communications. You’ll be able to solve unforeseen problems quicker, keep your team on target, and limit frustrations caused by people with misinformation.

Leaders Convey Context

Your employees want to understand their work means something. By contextualizing their work, your direction, and the evolving progression of the company, you inspire employees to do their best.

Leaders Seek More Than Information

Effective leaders show thanks for a job well done, and recognize employees who demonstrate extraordinary efforts. Make your connections more personal by building your employees up and driving them forward; in turn, they’ll reward you with additional productivity.

One Response to “What Makes a Good Leader in Tech?”

  1. Amanda

    This is a great summary article of what good leadership entails. Many negative situations can be diffused, or even avoided altogether, simply by stopping to listen, showing empathy, and considering your answer before responding. Sometimes, the most effective thing you can do when leading and communicating is simply this: slow down. It’s amazing what may come to light when you do, as well as what you’ll discover when you take the time to organize your thoughts well.