it director

5 Core Leadership Skills a Great IT Director Needs

Oct 9, 2018

Being an effective IT director takes more than just knowledge about technology.

Soft skills like leadership and communication take a big role for an IT manager. If they don’t have these skills, they won’t be able to lead a productive team.

But which of these soft skills are the most important?

Take a look at the five core leadership skills every IT manager needs.

1. Adaptability and Continuous Learning

Technology is always changing and advancing. Everything you know about technology might be useful right now, but it will be outdated in a number of years.

Successful IT directors are in a continuous state of learning. You have to keep up with the new developments in the tech field.

On top of that, you have to have the ability to manage both technology and people. You have to understand how the technology you’re using works and lead a team of people to create solutions for that tech.

If you aren’t willing to grow with the technology, you aren’t ready to be an IT director.

2. Team Management Skills

This is a traditional management skill, but it can be challenging for the IT field. IT managers must be able to keep their team motivated and on track in a process that is always evolving.

Keeping the team moving forward with team building exercises give them the trust they need to produce quality project results. Your team members should be able to rely on each other and get a sense of mentoring from you.

The right leader can make the difference between a mediocre team and a productive one.

3. Strong Communication

If a manager doesn’t have strong communication, they won’t have a united team. But one of the biggest parts of effective communication is listening.

An IT manager can’t just sit in their office and send emails or give pep talks. They must listen to their team members, tackle potential problems before they get out of hand, and delegate accordingly.

The best way to do this is by socializing with your team. Open door policies in the office make team members feel welcome and appreciated. It’ll also encourage interaction and feedback from your team.

4. Decision-Making Capacity

An IT manager might not be in charge of the entire company, but they have to be able to make thought-out decisions for their team. This requires a certain level of scrutiny.

For example, before you can buy the necessary tech equipment, you have to study data and weight the risk. You have to do the same with team actions.

And when it comes to technology, time is always against you.

The actions of the IT department can affect the rest of the business. Restarting a single system can make a negative impact on sales or reputation. You must be able to evaluate these types of decisions and pick the best course of action.

5. Goal Targeting

Meeting goals can be challenging for any manager, but it gets even more difficult for IT directors. Remember, technology is constantly changing, and IT managers have to account for that.

This field used to thrive on five years plans. But five years takes too long now.

You have to reach your goals quickly. Many IT goals, such as hardware refreshes, must be accomplished in under three years. IT directors have to drive a motivated team to reach goals faster than other industries.

The Five Core Leadership Goals of an IT Director

Being adaptable, having good team management skills, creating strong communication, making difficult decisions, and being able to meet goals are some of the most important qualities of an IT director. An IT manager that doesn’t have these skillsets won’t be able to lead an effective IT team.

Hope to work in the IT industry manager someday? This guide will teach you how to become an IT entrepreneur without knowing anything.

conference speaker

What to Look for in a Conference Speaker for Your Next Conference

Oct 8, 2018

 

Are you looking for the best speakers for your next big conference?

If this is your first event, you should carefully choose the people that’ll represent your message and vision. The quality of the speakers can make or break your event. If you have a good selection, you’ll attract more attendees to fill up the seats.

Start by researching your audience’s needs. Go to potential speakers’ websites, social media channels, and videos to see how they deliver. Then, you can narrow down your choices.

Though quality speakers can be more expensive than less-known names, consider them a worthwhile investment.

Check out the tips below to understand what it takes to be a conference speaker and how to hire the best ones in the field.

Are They Experts in Their Field?

This one is a given, but your speakers have to know what they’re talking about beyond their script.

They should be experts in their field, with useful and valuable advice and knowledge the audience can apply in real life.

Do your research before you hire a speaker to see if they’re an authority in their profession.

Are They and Their Content Authentic?

In this digital era where everything is available for free, it’s important to have authentic speakers.

You need to deliver extra value to your audience and give them something they can’t find online or in books. This is where your speakers have to do the work and provide original content.

Nobody would pay an expensive ticket to listen to a speech already available on YouTube. Your speakers should adjust and adapt the content to your audience and without repeating themselves too much.

Do They Truly Want to Help the Audience?

Many conference organizers go out of their way to book internationally famous speakers because they think it’ll sell more tickets.

This is not always true. The speakers you hire should be willing to spread the word about the conference and actually be happy to be there. If the performance is just another job for them, you’ll be facing an unhappy audience and bad reputation.

The people attending are there to find a solution to a problem. If the speaker isn’t willing to engage with the audience and help them out, they’re not a good fit.

Are They Flexible and Reliable?

Organizing a conference takes a lot of work and your speakers are the highlight of this work. They should understand the effort it takes to host them and not be too demanding.

Some speakers are humble and don’t ask for too much but others can be complete divas. If they want special treatment or luxury accommodations, steer clear of them. They’ll end up costing you more than they’re worth. You should also make sure they don’t cancel days or hours before the conference.

Now You Know What to Look for in a Conference Speaker

Hiring a conference speaker for your next event can be challenging if you don’t know what to look for.

These tips will help you figure out what qualities your speakers should have in order to get on the stage and interact with the attendants.

They have to be knowledgeable about their topic, prepare a concise, yet impactful speech and wow the audience.

For more tips on how to organize a conference with the best speakers in the world, visit my blog. Or if you have any questions or would like to hire me to speak at your event, contact me today!

startup hire

How Entrepreneurs and Startups Hire Their First Employee

Oct 2, 2018

With a massive 90% of startups folding, even getting to the point where you think you need to take someone new on board is a milestone. But recruiting someone to join your venture can be risky, so here’s our guide to your very first startup hire.

We’ll look at the legal, practical and personal issues involved to help guide you to the right decision that will take your company to the next level.

Preparing for your Startup Hire

The Legal Side

Before you start looking for the right person, make sure that you understand all the legal implications and responsibilities of taking someone on. You’ll need to make sure that you don’t fall foul of any labor laws, or equal opportunities legislation.

You will also need to let the IRS know that you have taken on a new hire, and ensure that you complete the necessary paperwork. There are taxes that you, as the employer, need to pay and information that you need to give the IRS on a regular basis.

The Role

Knowing exactly what you want your hire to do, will help you know what to look for. Working in startups tends to mean a broader job description than most roles, you want someone who will be able to pitch in and help in multiple areas.

Once you’ve determined what you want from hiring your first employee, you can work on what needs to be included in the contract of employment.

Finding the Right Person

You have three options for startup hiring. You can advertise your vacancy yourself, you can use an agency, or you can use word of mouth. Which you choose, will depend on the time:money ratio that you have available.

We’ve talked before about recruitment strategies, but one thing to keep in mind is that trusting on instinct, or other people’s opinions, isn’t the best way to screen potential staff.

Make sure that you take up references, carry out aptitude testing, and look into drugs testing, background checks and more if they will be appropriate for your business. Hire in haste, repent at leisure.

Onboarding

When you’ve found the right person, you need to think about how you’re going to make them a useful part of the team. Onboarding is a vital step in hiring a new employee. What do they need to know in order to be useful as soon as possible? Try and avoid having them start with nothing to do, no computer, phone or desk.

Don’t Delay

Don’t be one of those bosses who wish they’d hired people months before they actually did. The average time it takes to hire someone is now almost three weeks and if this is your first hire then there’s a good chance it will take longer.

If you’re thinking about hiring at some point in the near future, then it’s worth starting the process now. Your first startup hire is one of the best ways to expand your business, giving you more capacity to get your work done.

For more news on entrepreneurship, business, marketing and more then check out the other articles on our blog today!