After being in this business for a while I’ve discovered that the best thing to you can do is look around your business and observe the leadership. Figure out which ones are successful and adopt some of the key characteristics and traits that drive their success. Watch the other leaders that aren’t successful, learn from their mistakes and behaviors.
Some of the most successful leaders I have run across in the tech world and other parts of the business share pretty much the same characteristics.
– They understand the business they are in, not just the department they manage or lead. At some point they took the time to learn the business front to back. They understand the product they sell and most of the what is required to bring it to market.
– They are friendly, enthusiastic and respectful of not only their peers but also of the people above and below them. Invest some time in learning how to create and manage your business relationships. Create and maintain them, they are ASSETS.
– They understand that there really is no such thing as technology investments. There are business investments only, plain and simple. Successful IT leaders understand that technology provides a service to business for the purpose of enabling, sustaining and offering competitive advantage whenever possible. Thoughtful investment and stewardship is key.
– They align people by using positive influence, they never dictate. They always gain consensus by including people (peers, above and below) in the decision making process.
– They are humble and want to help others succeed. This points back to managing relationships, again critical to success.
– They are professionals. They are above the petty bullshit. They don’t engage in it. You will never catch one of these individuals gossiping about their peers, engaging in arguments in a meeting or publicly taking delight in the bad behavior of others.
–They believe in coaching and developing the people around them.
–They dress decent and hold themselves to high personal standards. Seldom overweight, they are disciplined in the lives they lead.