Technology has blown up very evidently in recent years and leadership today is synonymous with tech proficiency. Business leaders need to align the direction in which their organizations are moving with tech developments and harness the power of digital tools to their advantage.
While it goes without saying that all leadership today needs to be digitally skilled no matter what the industry, there are some tips that one can keep in mind while hiring specifically for a Tech Leader of any organization.
1. Define strategic objective
When you are looking for the leader of an organisation, you have to look at ‘purpose’. What is the core thing you are looking to achieve? What is the objective that should define the trajectory for the leader’s efforts? For Example: Define your 5 year plan and derive from that you the right guy would be for your organisation. Bringing a diverse set of people together in harmony to achieve a common goal remains one of the most difficult leadership skills today.
2. Complementary Skill Sets
Complimentary skills sets brought together at a leadership level can make a huge impact. Gartner research found that leaders who use complementary leadership saw a 60% increase in their teams’ performance. Fill talent gaps in the existing leadership team. Don’t necessarily opt for the highest demanded skill in the market. Instead, acquire what is not available in your organisation. Take the example of preparing any given dish. There is a set of ‘different ingredients’ required for the mix for the output to come out as the final dish. One cannot simply take away one element and replace it by doubling the quantity of another ingredient.
3. Don’t be Afraid to be Industry Agnostic
As an organisation looking to grow, you should hire someone who has been a part of growth phases, be it in any industry.
The uptake of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Internet of Things, Robotic Process Automation et al. thus far has been promising across many industries. Thus, one should not be hesitant of hiring from a different or an adjacent industry when it comes to Tech Leadership.
Some of the greatest leaders have been from different industries. Jeff Bezos had a lucrative career in computer science on Wall Street and took on top roles at various financial firms before launching Amazon at 31.
4. Look for Humility
Although humility is an evergreen trait, the pandemic has proven its importance once again. Self indulgent leadership can be unhealthy for the team, especially in times of crisis. Humble leaders that have been able to nurture communication and lead the team forward with both strategic foresight and empathy have earned long lasting relationship capital. Humility is going to determine how we treat our teams, and that shall be a determinant in how one overcomes the current crisis. Humility enables leaders to identify their shortcomings, take into account others’ opinions, and attempt to change for the larger picture.
5. Speak to People
Don’t be enamoured by glossy numbers. Speak to members of the board, immediate reportees and find out more about the person. A lot of success can be circumstantial and people can succeed despite having a number of shortcomings. You don’t want that kind of a leader. You want someone who creates value despite the challenges. Great leadership can come from anywhere, it doesn’t necessarily belong in big brands.
In 2021, resolve to improve your leadership skills, because only the fittest shall survive and ‘perish or perform’ shall become the new mantra for business leaders. With Tech pivoting competitive performance across industries, it will be imperative for the Tech Chief to harness its power at an organisational level for sustained growth and catalysed revival.