7 Traits of Effective IT Leaders

There are unique skills that an IT Leader will need to be effective.

Being an effective leader requires many things. Good communication, confidence in your decision making and the ability to listen to criticism and pushback are key skills. But there are some unique traits that IT leaders need to be effective in their work.

1. Patience

It may sound obvious but having a lot of patience with your team will pay dividends. Not everyone will be as up to speed with emerging technology as you, so being patient especially when they are unexpected delays or obstacles is incredibly important.

2. Creativity

If you do come up against unexpected delays or obstacles, being able to solve them will be vital. A good IT leader can look at a problem and find a way to solve it with innovation or creativity. Whether it’s choosing a new software to solve a long-standing issue or coming up with a new way to deliver training, creativity separates the great leaders from the mediocre ones.

3. Good Communication

The ability to communicate difficult information in a way that makes it easy to understand is crucial, especially in IT. Ensure that whenever you’re communicating, you’re doing it in a way that doesn’t come across as patronising. You don’t want to come across as too high-minded either, so being able to strike that balance is key.

4. Empowering

Empowering your team, through learning and development and putting trust in them will help get buy-in when times get tough. Collaboration is a key part of that and lets your team know that you trust them to do the work required.

5. Delegation

A good leader will delegate. This doesn’t mean they get someone else to do all the grunt work! It’s also to enable your direct reports, facilitate teamwork, provide autonomy, lead to better decision-making.

6. Openness

An effective leader is humble and able to listen to others. They’re also willing to try new ways of working when they’re presented to them. Being open with your team and your stakeholders builds trust and can help get buy-in, especially from senior management.

7. Courage

It can be hard to stand up for yourself or your ideas, but that is what is required of an effective leader. Don’t be afraid to step up when required, for your team, yourself or just to flag a concern that you feel hasn’t been addressed.