7 Leadership Traits Enhanced (or hurt) By Technology

Post image for 7 Leadership Traits Enhanced (or hurt) By Technology

by Steve Holt on July 23, 2010

We’ve all seen it. We’ve all worked for some person who had no business being in a leadership position. How they got there is a mystery to everyone, and when it comes to using technology, oh my… they are about as sharp as a bowling ball. Am I right? So to make sure that you don’t end up like them, here is a list of 7 ‘leadership’ traits that can be enhanced, or hurt, by technology. Follow this advice and you are sure to be an effective leader.

Trait #1: Character
Character is sometimes hard to define, and is probably best described using examples, but you know it when you see it. If you are ‘flakey’ in the way you deal with others, you will lose face in their eyes. Do what you say you are going to do and be respectful of other people’s time.  For better or worse, the majority of people today rely on email to get work done and communicate with others.  So whenever a colleague emails you and needs help/information/whatever, don’t just ignore it for days at a time.  At the very least, respond and acknowledge you got it, and tell them you’ll get back with them.  Same goes with voice mail.  Hate voicemail?  Give Google Voice a try.  It’s free.

Trait #2: Teachability
If you want to be an effective leader, then learn something new every day.  Be open to new ideas and new ways of doing things.  Nobody likes to work for someone who is inflexible, unwilling to adapt to new ways of doing things, or a ‘know-it-all’.  So at the very least, stay in touch with what is going on in your profession.  Use Google Reader and Google Alerts to keep track of what’s important and relevant.  I know, you don’t have time to scour the web looking for news, right?  So let Google do it for you.  It’s free and it will save you a ton of time.  Trust me.  And don’t forget about www.twazzup.com, which is a great way to glean real-time news from the world of Twitter.

Trait #3: Generosity
As a leader, be generous in everything you do.  Giving to others will win you more friends and influence than you ever imagined.  And that includes your words as well.  Use technology to build others up and encourage them, especially your employees/followers.  Email encouraging, positive comments and copy others on the email so that they know you are bragging on them.  Use www.eyejot.com to send free video emails instead of text emails, and again, copy others.  And lead by example by using www.freecycle.org to give things away instead of throwing them away.

Trait #4: Competency
Being unorganized is a one-way ticket to people thinking you are incompetent.  And that undermines your leadership.  So let Google Desktop organize your computer harddrive so you’ll never lose another file.  Use www.evernote.com, www.rememberthemilk.com, or www.springpad.com to capture and organize your life so you never forget or lose anything.  And don’t forget about www.dropbox.com or www.mesh.com to always have access from anywhere to the important files that you need.

Trait #5: Relationships
One of the best ways to develop your leadership is to build relationships.  When you build a relationship with someone first they are more likely to do business with you later.  So use all of the latest social media tools available today to build relationships.  Yes, using Facebook can make you a better leader!  And the same goes for Twitter and Sprouter.  So go get on Facebook right now and start building relationships!

Trait #6: Communication
If you want to make your employees/followers lose confidence in you, then keep them in the dark about what’s going on.  I have seen good leaders fail simply because they failed to communicate.  So aside from email and your cellphone, what are some technology tools you can use to communicate in different ways?  Try www.tatango.com for free web-based group text-messaging, like with your soccer team or your church group or your chamber committee.  Use video-calling programs like Skype or ooVoo to make video calls that are much more personable than text emails.  Ever heard of WebEx?  Try www.dimdim.com… it’s better.

Trait #7: Problem Solving
Solve problems and people will turn to you when they need help.  People turn to leaders to solve problems, so be a problem-solver!  Don’t know the answer?  Ask Google 411.  Struggling with that technical issue that just won’t go away?  Give www.protonic.com a try… it’s fantastic, by the way!  Want to really impress them?  Use www.gethuman.com to get around those super annoying phone menus.  The bottom line is… solve someone’s problem and your stock goes up.  Every time.

All these technology tools can help you become a better leader, but only if you use them and use them the right way.  To get ahead you need an edge… you need to do things better than the next guy… and you need to be someone that people want to follow.

Now go answer those emails that have been sitting in your inbox for days.  I guarantee you the person on the other end will appreciate it!

{ 5 comments }

Anonymous January 7, 2011 at 2:14 am

Thanks for the great information, I have it bookmarked

Anonymous December 19, 2010 at 4:22 am

My dad has been writing a book precisely on point with this blog, I have emailed him the web address so maybe he could pick up a couple pointers. Great Job.

Jamie Iomo December 7, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Hello

Thanks for writing this blog, loved reading it.

Augustine Dillard December 4, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Hi, very interesting post, greetings from Greece!

Anonymous December 2, 2010 at 12:16 am

Good Afternoon

Looking forward to your next post

Previous post:

Next post: