13 Skills You Should Still Practice And Hone As A CTO

Earning the CTO position is a big deal for people who specialize in technology. Overseeing the development of products can be super exciting and that’s something that makes the job so different than the others. 

By having a C-Level position, you are held responsible for your entire department and your decisions matter. However, that doesn’t mean you have mastered every skill in your department. As an executive leader, you are constantly growing and learning new things from the people you manage and work with. Always be looking for new ways to do something and evolve your product to make it better and better. Don’t rush ideas when talking about tech. Listen to everything and give good feedback on what people are suggesting.

You need to have very good people skills if you are wanting to be an effective CTO, Reach out to people in other departments to see what they are working on. I found that the marketing department works really well with the tech department because both goals are to sell and get the product name out there. Don’t be a toxic leader to your team. They look up to you and trust your opinion. If there is no built trust, nothing will get done.

A CTO must be able to think about the bigger picture and have a plan for the future. Always anticipate the next step and look for trends in the world that can help you evolve. Focus on detail and make sure nothing is missing before submitting a project. An unfinished product shows unprofessionalism and laziness-qualities a CTO should never have.

Communication is another huge aspect of being a CTO. Always be communicating with your team, other departments, and potential clients you are working with at the time. Get feedback on things you are working on and try to understand who you are talking to. Respect the people you are working with and you will be a great CTO.

Listen to all ideas that are being shared. Listening to your team, your peers, the market and the other leaders in your company is critical. Being a good CTO doesn’t mean having a predefined solution to every single problem, however to adapt to challenges and listen to ideas on how to fix them. Have a good balance of technology and business to make your solutions better. 

One of the most important functions as CTO is to set product and technical vision. A great CTO has a plan for what they want to achieve and how you plan on doing it. Yes, there will be challenges that will stop and slow progress on that goal, but how you work through them will separate the good and the great CTOs.

Having good time management skills is another factor. Constantly be improving these skills until you have mastered it. The job can be demanding at times, but distributing that work between different days of the week is a good way to manage your time better.  This is something that even the most successful people in the world continue to strive to improve in this area.

Be a good mentor to the people around you. Lead by example and always be listening to your team when something isn’t going right. You are the “boss” of the department, but that doesn’t mean you have to be the boss. Lead in a way that doesn’t feel like you have total control over everything. Be there for support and to give ideas. 

I plan on using all of these skills as I take on the CTO role in DireLights. I am usually the leader in team settings, so this isn’t new to me. I really hope I can learn from my team, as well as teach them how a good team works. I feel like we will get a lot done this year, and give the technology department the overhaul it needs.

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