My name is Rohan Pinto and I have been a security and identity management expert for three decades. I’m a self-proclaimed “cryptography nerd” who has developed and is responsible for a number of enterprises that take advantage of breakthroughs in blockchain and identity management. I hope to continue to show the world the amazing possibilities of well-implemented cryptographic systems. Today, I would like to share “5 Habits of a Successful CTO” that I learned from five of my favorite books.
- They build a culture of trust and cooperation.
In the book, “Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t”, Simon Sinek observes that great leaders make sacrifices for the good of their followers. While poor leaders build toxic work cultures based on selfishness, paranoia and cynicism, great leaders care so deeply about their followers that they are willing to sacrifice their own comfort.
- They believe that there are new frontiers to discover that will create a better future.
The amazing mystery of our time is that there are still unknown territories to discover and new inventions to develop. Peter Thiel, a great entrepreneur and investor, shows us how to uncover distinct ways to create those new things in his book, “Zero to One”. Although information technology has advanced rapidly, there is no reason to believe that advancement should be limited to Silicon Valley. In any industry or field of business, progress can be made. It stems from the most fundamental leadership trait of all: the ability to think for oneself. Tomorrow’s champions will not win by competing in today’s market. They will be immune to competition since their firms will be one-of-a-kind.
- They build products that people use because they want to, not because they have to.
In his book, “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products”, Nir Eyal explains how one can build habit forming products, which is a critical skill for a CTO. When products are habit forming, they can bring users back without expensive advertisements.
- They let go of negativity and move forward.
It isn’t productive to focus on negative thoughts and hurtful memories. When leaders idealize the past, it can actually cause pain in the present. In “The Art of Letting Go” by Damon Zahariades, he explains how to let go of the past for long-lasting, positive change. CTOs (and leaders in general) need to face the future with a positive mindset to make an impact in their organizations.
- They are lifelong learners who keep up with global technological developments.
It is important for CTOs to read books and research articles by their peers to stay informed about technological advances. For example, I recently read “SuperIntelligence Paths Dangers and Strategies” by Nick Bostrom. I thought that it was fascinating that superintelligence could become so advanced that it could eventually improve its own capabilities quicker than human computer scientists. This is certainly a topic that I will be interested in learning more about.
(The author Rohan Pinto, Chief Technology Officer, 1Kosmos and the views expressed in this article are his own)