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In the IT world we face different challenges since we are in an environment of uncertainty and constant change. Therefore, companies require the formation of strategies that allow the transformation and creation of products and services that adapt to global needs and represent a competitive advantage.

Behind these strategies

There is multidisciplinary work between teams that share different knowledge that complement a common goal oriented to innovation. In addition, we are familiar with skills that make it easier to face these uncertain environments, such as leadership.

Firstly, the leader interacts with people and influences groups through qualities that will enable them to achieve objectives and goals. At this point we have heard, in many scenarios, that only the person who formally leads a team is a leader. However, we are aware that anyone may develop these qualities in a leadership role to the fulfillment of the team’s objectives.

Undoubtedly, that is why a leader is not equivalent to a boss. A boss is a person who has a higher rank within an organization and has a subordinate team to which he or she assigns functions. A leader is anyone who fosters teamwork throughout management, openness to change and learning, assertive communication, active listening, and empathy towards the fulfillment of shared objectives.

In fact, you can think of a time when, thanks to your contributions and attitude, your team was able to move forward and get closer to a goal.

Heading toward the IT world, we can talk about a type of leadership toward innovation

Team-innovationalUndeniably, innovation consists of several processes that make it possible to create and transform a product or service. So, how to be an innovative leader?

Tips to become an innovational leader

In the following you will find some tips that can guide you to become one great innovational leader:

  1. Make a list of your strengths and opportunities for improvement. It is an exercise of introspection that will help you understand what capabilities you have to offer to your team and what opportunities for improvement you must undertake action plans.
  2. Talk to 3 friends or family members and ask them about your strengths and opportunities for improvement. Listen more and talk less. It would help if you were open to listening. This step will help you to have visibility of strengths and opportunities for improvement that you may not have known. 
  3. Practice your openness to change and learn. Everyone on your team has something to contribute. Be open to hearing new ideas and accepting that things can be done differently. As a result, you may be surprised by the results.
  4. Learn to intervene only when necessary. Your team has many skills and knowledge that allow them to make decisions on their own. Intervene only if you feel it is strictly necessary or when you are asked for your opinion.
  5. Practice assertive communication. Learn how to communicate by describing actions, talking about specific situations, and not pointing. For example: 
    • NO: “You are a disorganized person”
      YES: “I have noticed that you often leave your utensils disorganized. For example, your headphones are on the floor.”
    • NO: “You don’t do things right”
      YES: “On Tuesday you scheduled a meeting at 8:00, but it was actually at noon”.
    • NO: “You’re hateful”
      YES: “On the day of the meeting, you responded in a way that I didn’t like.”
  1. Provide solutions. While it is crucial to identify what is not working, focusing only on the problem will make it bigger. So, when you identify it, immediately focus resources on finding solutions and consequently action plans.
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask. If you identify something is happening with a team member, ask them assertively and offer your help. It would help if you were open to the person closing their doors and not wanting help. That’s also valid.
  3. Lead by example. The best way to influence others is to be what you expect from others. Leading by example is one of the most important ways to lead your team.

With these steps, surely you will be practicing many transversal skills, such as assertive communication, management, adaptation, active listening, negotiation, and teamwork, among others that certainly will take you to the next level.

Final thoughts

To conclude, an innovational leader is a person who promotes teamwork and most importantly, demonstrates innovative behaviors by interacting and influencing through different skills that allow undertaking processes for the creation and/or transformation of products or services. Remember that all of us can be leaders. Working on these skills will also foster our personal and professional growth.

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Juliana Medina Gutiérrez

Psychologist Attraction and Selection Professional

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