How to Be a Successful IT Leader

Exceptional IT leaders know that the job is about more than just hitting your goals. True success is about balancing your objectives and company goals against the needs of your team, and you must do it under the constraints of available company resources.  Leading an IT team was quite different a decade ago. Today, technology is a key driver of company objectives, and few areas evolve as rapidly as IT. While there are numerous leadership styles that facilitate success, all great IT leaders share some common traits.

The Ability to Delegate

Leaders who try to take everything on themselves will quickly realize they get nothing accomplished. Know what you don’t know, and know who you can lean on to pick up the ball and run with it when necessary.

The Desire to Grow

Most tech leaders keep exhaustive hours, but successful leaders make time to continue learning and growing. You cannot continue to lead if your knowledge and skillsets lag behind the ever-evolving landscape.

Communicate Effectively

Strong communication is essential with your direct reports, but IT leaders must also communicate effectively with “non-techie” members of the organization. Remember that communication is a two-way process. It is simply impossible to be a strong leader without being a great communicator.


You cannot fake it in leadership. People respond to authenticity, and they can spot a fraud a mile away. While it is important to embody the basic principles of leadership and professionalism, successful leaders allow their true personality to show itself on the job.


Successful leaders have the ability to put themselves in other people’s shoes and see things from different perspectives. A leader that can thoughtfully acknowledge their employees’ thoughts or concerns in the process of making difficult business decisions will ultimately cultivate great workplace relationships.

Allow For, And Even Embrace, Failure

Innovation and improvement are not possible without failure. Leaders who helm successful, productive IT teams do not view failure as a disaster.  They allow their teams to try new things and when something doesn’t work out, they help individuals learn from their mistakes and “fail forward.”

What Ego?

Great leaders let the team bask in the glory of success, and conversely, take ownership of group failure. Teams notice when the boss takes all the credit and/or passes the buck. A lack of ego keeps employees motivated to do their best work.

Deliver Results

If you possess every ideal trait of a great leader but do not produce results, you will not be labeled a success.  You must be able to deliver on your promises and your directives, regardless of the circumstances or outside pressures.

If you are a strong IT leader, and/or you are an IT leader looking for the right talent to round out your team, connect with the award-winning  staffing experts at Talon. Call us at 609-924-8900 or fill out our online form to learn more.

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