How Technology Can Make You A Better Leader

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by Steve Holt on April 25, 2013

Today I spoke to a group of dynamic leaders who are learning how to be even better leaders.  I shared with them some leadership traits that make a good leader, and some technology tools that can help them enhance that trait.  Every leader has their own personal style, so hopefully one of these tools will enhance your style and help you be better at whatever it is that you do.  Let’s see what goodies I can pull out of the hat…

Character – Do what you say you are going to do.  Don’t be flaky. And be respectful of other people’s time. Those things are part of having good character I think.

  • Technology tool:  Email – We all use email, so this isn’t a new revelation.  But I want to encourage you to return your emails. You don’t like it when you email someone because you need an answer or help with a project, and they ignore your email. Don’t be that guy. 
  • Technology tool: Voicemail – I hate voicemail. Because the only voicemails I get are “hey, call me.”. So I use Google Voice to handle my voicemail. It transcribes my voicemails and delivers them to my Google Voice app on my phone. Sweet.

Teachability – If you want to be successful at what you do, then you need to learn something new every day. You need to be on top of your profession and be aware of the latest trends. I learn every day because I read everything I can get my hands on. You need to do that.

  • Technology tool: Feedly.com – I use Feedly.com to keep track of all my RSS feeds to I can quickly scan headlines from news sites and sources that I trust. I don’t waste time anymore hopping around from site to site to find my news.
  • Technology tool: Google Alerts – I use Google Alerts to keep track of stuff that is said and written about me on the Internet. You need to use it to keep track of not just your name, but your business, your products, and other stuff that is important to you. It’s free, and it’s oh so cool.

Generosity – A good leader is generous with everything, not just money. They are generous with praise, guidance, and encouragement. So use technology to ‘build up’ those who follow you.

  • Technology tool: Email – This is a no-brainer. Use email to praise your folks who do something good. Better yet, email the whole company to publicly brag on them. Everyone loves to be encouraged. 
  • Technology tool: Eyejot.com – Better yet, send them a video email. Much more personal.  Just make sure you comb your hair.

Competency – We have all worked for someone who was incompetent.  Don’t be that guy. Be organized and don’t waste effort or time.

  • Technology tool: Evernote.com – never forget anything every again. If you haven’t tried it, try it. 
  • Technology tool: Rescuetime.com – Find out where you spend your time during the day. It emails a report to you about how much time you spent on email, Facebook, web surfing, Word, etc.  Be prepared to be surprised.
  • Technology tool: IfTTT.com – Automate things in your life to save time. For example, IfTTT can text you the weather every morning. It can email you pictures from Facebook that you are tagged in.  It can… oh for goodness sake, just go try it.

Communication – Good leaders communicate with those who follow them. They don’t leave people in the dark, and they share. Be a good communicator and foster good communication in your organization.

  • Technology tool: Google+ Hangouts – My favorite video chatting tool. Up to 10 people, video and text chat, file sharing, collaboration. Amazing, and free.
  • Technology tool: Groupme.com – Group messaging tool via a smartphone app that allows you to instantly communicate with groups to organize meetings, share announcements, and ask questions.  This tool is really cool.

Technology doesn’t hold all the answers to our problems, but certain tools can help you become better at what you do.

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