Having the right mix of professional skills in for a leadership career in today’s information technology space is not easy. But if your goal is to climb up the corporate ladder in the IT realm, you’ll need to exhibit a mix of hard and soft skills – in addition to your IT knowledge – to make yourself stand out above the competition. So how can you do this to achieve great heights in IT leadership?
Standing Out from the IT Crowd
To get ahead in your IT career, aside from the level of IT knowledge you’ll need to be successful in your career track, consider the following professional characteristics that go a long way to complement your IT domain knowledge and help you stand out:
- Working with High Integrity, No Matter What – Are you exhibiting a high moral character? Do you work closely beside your team in a way that motivates and encourages them, instead of dictating tasks and holding yourself apart from everyone else? The best leaders are willing to get their hands dirty to support their team and simply get the job done.
- Challenging Others and Accepting Challenge, With the End Game being a Better Result – Can you listen as much as you talk? Are you open to other ways of doing things? The best leaders are the ones that welcome dissenting opinions as much as supporting opinions, and recognize that the reality is they don’t always have all the answers. Do not make the mistake of surrounding yourself with “yes” men and women. Trust in your ability to hire people who may be smarter than you are, and if you do, listen to their advice and expertise to help everyone win more than they have in the past. Empower these valuable resources to do their best work and it will naturally make you stand out from the crowd, along with the excellent team that you will have ultimately built for yourself and your company.
- Understanding that Winning Does Not Always Mean Being “Perfect” – Win, but not necessarily at all costs. Passion is important in leadership as is the ability to succeed in your goals. But you will have to, at times, walk the line between cutting corners and losing, where ‘good enough’ may be the true win in certain instances for the betterment of your team, department or company. This is one of the hardest aspects of leadership: finding that balance. How you move forward when faced with these decisions will define your career. What kind of a manager do you want to be and how does it fit within your corporate culture? These are all fundamental questions you must answer for yourself to stand out from the crowd.
- Have a Plan for When Setbacks May Occur – Always know that the road to success is simply not a straight line. Expect a few proverbial catastrophes along the way, in any meaningful career endeavor. And always have contingency plans in place in case something happens negatively to your project or goals. For example, no one predicted COVID-19, but the best leaders took steps to adapt to the challenges the pandemic thrust upon us. So, what is your Plan B? How will you handle the unexpected change of pace or shift in priorities that affect your personal and departmental goals?
- Being Decisive is More Important than Always Being Right – Take risks and embrace change as a natural part of the IT field. Admit your mistakes, then keep moving forward by trying something new. Encourage, persuade, and push your team to do the same. It’s only by innovating in the IT field that we will achieve high-reaching goals.
Sometimes you can exhibit all of these characteristics yet feel like your career has stalled. Have you been in an organization for years, done your best, and then failed to move up the ladder? Perhaps the problem isn’t you but the company you’re serving? Blackstone Talent Group works with IT industry leaders to help them find the right environment in which they can succeed. How can we help you achieve your goals? To find out more, click here to browse some of the positions we have available today.