As a technology professional, I am often asked what qualities are required to be a successful leader in the male dominated technology field.
I’ve led global, cross-functional technical sales teams and also software development and implementation teams. These teams consisted entirely of men. So, the question is, what qualities did I exhibit to cause these men to follow my lead and believe in me as their technical team leader?
These are the qualities that I continue to exhibit and I feel are necessary for a woman to lead a team of male technical professionals:
- Educate yourself and be recognized as the SME, Subject Matter Expert. As the SME, make it a point to engage in architectural considerations with your team members. Collaborate with your team. Collaborate with others.
- Develop superior soft skills to complement the technical skills. Know how to communicate with and motivate your team, manage egos, and capitalize off each team member’s strengths.
- Be personable, flexible, and have an infectiously positive attitude. “We, as a team, can do anything.”
- Be a calculated risk taker, develop a number of well-conceived strategies for success (remember “Murphy’s Law”), and gain consensus among the stakeholders.
- Be a technical innovator, see what others doesn’t see. Forge new paths.
- Be your authentic self, be totally and absolutely confident in your abilities, and be resilient.
- Be passionate about your work and the contributions of your team. Enjoy it!
- Create a “Brag Book”.
My mentor advised me to create a “brag book”. He stated that I would need to document my career achievements because others may not believe what I’ve achieved. So, portions of my “brag book” are online at www.VisualCV.com/RoseMShort.
College: City College of New York
Major: M.S. Computer Science
How important is mentorship to you? Extremely important
How often are you developing yourself through learning? Weekly
In your opinion, how often should others be evaluating career/business opportunities? All the time