Qualities Found in Good (and Bad) Leaders
It’s the age-old question: are good leaders born with it or can strong leadership skills be learned? According to a recent Computerworld article, Bart Bolton, a longtime IT management consultant and a facilitator for the Society for Information Management Regional Leadership Forum, claimed that he knew many introverts who became successful CIOs but explained that potential leaders need to “develop a sense of self-awareness of who you are and who you’re about that leads to a sense of self-confidence.”
The article went on to explain that effective IT leaders have “the ability to set and communicate a vision for the IT organization” and “the capacity to market and sell that vision to IT staffers and business executives.” However, when you are trying to develop these traits to propel yourself into leadership roles, beware not to be under- or overly-assertive. A recent study, which appeared in the February issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, found that organizational leaders who demonstrate low or high levels of assertiveness are seen as less effective (Read more about the study in Science Daily).
Through a series of studies, researchers asked workers for their opinions on colleagues’ leadership strengths and weaknesses. Some of the most common strengths listed were intelligence, self-discipline and charisma. As for the weaknesses, assertiveness was listed as a problem more times than the three common strengths combined. In total, assertiveness was mentioned as a weakness in more than half of the studies.
The moral of the story: When trying to climb the IT ranks, be sure to be confident and charismatic, but keep your assertiveness levels in check.
Posted by Michele B.