4 self – development tips for tech leaders


Setting goals, managing your time, being motivated and being able to focus are all self-management skills that great IT managers cultivate.

Here are four ways to work on managing your own self-development.

1. Keep your focus on projects.
When you anticipate having full days of outside meetings, come in early and take an extra hour to touch base with your project leads. You don’t want to make a practice of having too many crowded days like this, but taking that extra hour in the morning has saved many IT managers the headache of having to straighten out major issues that arose in their absence, and that they could have prevented if they’d stayed in touch.

2. Be a team player.
Get out from behind your desk for at least one hour per working day to mingle with staff and assess project work. If there is a project problem that requires collaboration and you can help, play a key collaborative role in the meeting. Also take the time to circulate among offices and cubicles to interact with staff and get to know them. The more you establish open communications and personal comfort levels with your staff, the more they will feel at ease and work together as a team.

3. Strive for a balanced life.
Set aside time for your family and friends in the same way that work will make its own demands on your time – and evaluate whether your work and personal life are staying in balance on a regular monthly basis. Regular evaluation is important because it can be easy to lose this balance if you don’t continuously work at keeping it.

Some years ago, I was in a management job that required me to spend 80% of my work time traveling. I found that work was overshadowing my family time. I made a conscious decision to change job so that a better work-life balance could be achieved.

4. Don’t lose sight of your own self-development needs.
One key project administrative skill that is developmental for many managers is capturing the time and cost of projects. In other cases, it can be beneficial to gain a better understanding of the end business so you can better align IT projects and results with business needs. If you come from a more technical discipline, you may want to work on improving your communication skills. Whatever development areas you need to shore up, identify them and then make a plan to acquire the skills that you need.