Three Must Skills Areas for New Tech Leaders

In over ten years as an engineer and ten more coaching technical professionals to become leaders in technical companies, I have distilled down three key skills areas that it seems like we all need more of.

The first is what I call Proactive Learning Cycles.  This means setting up tiny projects to support your career where you can master the art of working toward measured performance goals while becoming a leader that makes stuff happen.  The whole point of leadership is to make stuff happen.  And you’ll get more bang for your buck if you focus on goals that invest in learning better process than if you simply develop a new product or strive for some riches reward.

The second area Tech Professionals consistently struggle to develop includes all the Collaborative People Skills that make worthwhile projects a success. Enrolling others in team efforts, building trust, vision, and negotiating aligned values across the team, for example.  All of these skills are based on underlying repeatable human patterns that you can learn to apply on projects.  If you are a problem solver you are halfway to being a great leader, but you must develop the people skills too.

The third area you need to focus upon is in Coordinating Valued Results.  This includes all of the skills for setting expectations for project stakeholders, negotiating commitments from team members, and managing both to assure successful project delivery.  If this sounds like project management, in a way it is.  But there are basic communication-level skills that you must learn to reliably deliver project results, and they don’t teach them at the PMP courses.

If you would like to learn more about how to be the type of leader that people naturally want to follow then join our weekly Tech Leadership mastermind breakfast.  For this week’s location call me.  512-507-5464  This group is guaranteed to help make your transition from individual contributor to leader in the Tech or Engineering field an easy and powerful one.  Why learn by hard knocks when you can model the best and learn from them in less time, with less effort.

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