How Tech CEOs Build Great Teams

When it comes to building effective tech teams, skills and experience matter. However, cohesive, innovative and effective teams are about much more than the skills each person brings to the table. Recently, Bill McDermott, the CEO of SAP, shared his secrets to building an effective team with Glassdoor after he received a 95% approval rating from employees. Here is what he had to say about the qualities he looks for in individuals when building tech teams.


The ability to roll with change is a critical success factor for today’s tech employees. Change is inevitable at all levels. From process changes to project scope changes to sudden budgetary issues – tech professionals need to be able to regroup and refocus quickly.

Adaptability also includes the ability to step outside of a specific mold. Adaptable employees never say, “That’s not my job.” They say, “I am not typically responsible for this but how can I use my skills and knowledge to tackle it effectively?” Adaptable people don’t feel pigeonholed in their roles and they are willing to step outside their defined role to do whatever it takes to solve a problem and innovate new solutions. They can adapt to whatever gets thrown at them and look for new ways to add value to the team and to the organization every day.


McDermott isn’t talking about people who remember everyone’s birthdays or who are always considerate of other people’s feelings (though they do make great coworkers). Instead, he’s talking about people who are confident in their abilities but who also feel comfortable speaking up when they need a little bit of help.

Thoughtful team members are hyper-aware of their place on a team. They know their strengths and they know their weaknesses and aren’t afraid to seek advice from others when they face a potential knowledge or skill gap. They want to be challenged in their work but they are fully aware that they can’t be experts on every subject, all the time. These people also tend to know exactly who to seek out when they identify gaps, and are adept at identifying strengths and weaknesses in others.

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These qualities are critical for building effective teams because teamwork isn’t just about hard skills. It’s about pooling resources and distributing work based on strengths and weaknesses, and effective teams are able to do this without much guidance or supervision from management.

If you are looking for productive tech pros and managers who have the skills, qualities and attributes to add value to your team, work with the expert tech recruiters at TalonContact us to learn more about the ways we can help your organization thrive.



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