There are several differences that separate leaders from managers. While a manager is focused on executing the plan accordingly and maintaining control, the leader develops strategies to fulfill objectives. Even though there are differences among professions and backgrounds, there are definitely some skills that all leaders need to have in common, such as excellent communication skills, a strategic mindset, confidence in their instincts and intelligence, smart risk-taking in ambiguous situations and open-mindedness to new ideas. Besides these, we believe it’s time to bring on the table a discussion about the qualities that an IT leader should have on our IT outsourcing activity.
Having integrity as a personal value, an IT leader will reflect this on his actions. Leaders of integrity have a set of business ethics integrated into all business processes of the company. They communicate all their ethics clearly to all employees in order not to be deviations from any of them. Therefore, living with integrity is a state of mind rather than is something situational.
Credibility is not something given. Leaders build trust in time while showing commitment and not breaking the trust of those who believe in them. Credible leaders are not going to have hidden agendas when they are talking with their partners, clients or employees. They are transparent when it comes to their actions and always respect their promises.
Flexibility and ability to change
Nowadays, changes are dynamic and more frequent than ever. Nothing seems to remain constant and some plans must be adapted to new circumstances. In IT outsourcing, we should have the ability to change the plans whenever needed in order to match the reality of the situation while keeping in mind the core goals. In this way, only true IT leaders will make well-suited adjustments without deviating from their vision and beliefs.
Leaders work to serve, not to earn
Leaders have followers. But individuals will follow a leader only if the leader looks out for serving others. Their motivation comes first from work satisfaction itself. Money is just a byproduct, not the mover that stimulates their performance. The more leaders help others (clients with good products/services, employees with challenging projects), the more will come back to them in other ways as a „bonus” (such as stable clients and satisfied and motivated employees).
Sense of humor
Humor at workspace can really boost productivity. Laughing and having fun together is more likely to create a sense of community and keep members motivated. A leader with a great sense of humor can significantly create a pleasant work environment and encourages employees to openly share their ideas. When different new ideas converge, employees create types of innovation that they could not find on their own.
Taking all into consideration, these must-have qualities present significant challenges for leaders. But with deep self-reflection and a good perspective of what is possible for their business and teams, they raise high standards and believe in their vision. For them, the aspiration to transform vision into reality serves as a motivational tool that helps them to determine the course of their next actions.