When we looked at the behaviors that impact leadership effectiveness in the technology industry, one behavior was the clear winner. Behaving strategically was almost three times as important for predicting effectiveness as the next behavior set. It was even more important than maintaining in-depth and up-to-date specialized knowledge – something we tend to associate with technology.
This is a field that both changes constantly and drives change across all industries. While many leaders in the technology industry may identify with their particular area of expertise and seek out new knowledge, the most effective leaders are likely to be more strategic in their knowledge gathering. With so many areas of specialization and ever-changing needs in the industry, you have to be especially careful about where you invest your time.
I am sure we can all relate to having more interests than we can accommodate. As a researcher, I have an ever-growing list of research questions that needs to be prioritized regularly. As recently as a few days ago, I learned of a new statistical package that would allow me to easily run a broad set of analyses. (While that may not sound terribly tempting to everyone, to a researcher that’s a nearly irresistible discovery!) I would love to drop everything right now and dive into this software over the next few weeks. However, the strategic voice in my head reminds me that there are other needs that require my attention if we are to continue to deliver on our broader goals for next year. I should and will continue to grow my expertise, but I will also be sure to focus on those areas with the greatest potential to remain relevant in the long term.
Perhaps we could all learn something from effective technology leaders.
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