There is a reason companies have to compete so hard for senior tech talent: the best tech talent creates the most value. We are often asked to search for the “perfect tech leader”. Someone who can lead the next big product development effort, lead a company’s digital transformation, create disruptive products, or take the company’s products in new and exciting directions. Underlying each of these asks is a fundamental business need. A company’s ability to build products that engage customers, solve problems, transform business models or introduce totally new ways to address market needs requires top-notch engineering and product leadership.
The most talented technology leaders are uniquely able to translate a company’s vision into high value products and services. Beyond tech expertise, leaders that create true enterprise value also bring other leadership traits to the table. When we look for leaders to drive engineering and product initiatives for our clients, we look for individuals who have:
A vision of the possible – True innovation requires the ability to see past the limitations of current products, markets, methodologies and even technologies. Tech leaders that drive the most value are those that can embrace the possible and articulate a way to achieve it through technology.
The ability to create teams of innovators – The best leaders not only embrace the possible, they encourage team experimentation and creative approaches to achieving stated goals. Tech leaders who create the most value build teams of talented individuals who are also driven to achieve the best results through creative use of technology, systems and resources. In short, the best tech and product leaders can recruit and build teams that deliver.
A commitment to clear goals – Innovators are creators. Artists. Finding tech leaders who are able to translate their love of innovation to real business achievements is essential. They need to be able to commit to a clear path and focus their team on achieving specific goals. Creativity that delivers value is applied to goals and leverages innovative approaches to achieving them.
The ability to scale and manage complexity – in today’s growing companies there is often greater demand than there are resources to meet it. This is true when defining a product’s features, allocating resources and prioritizing deliverables. Conflicting priorities can make engineering teams whiplash between ever-changing goals. Tech leaders that create the most value are able to interpret the demands of the business, prioritize and rally engineering and product to deliver.
Not to be lost here, fundamental character traits such as integrity, professional pride, communication skills, and empathy for others are key requirements for success. Maybe most importantly, we find that tech leaders that have demonstrated grit throughout their career have often delivered the greatest value. Innovation is hard. Innovation that creates maximum value is harder still. Those leaders who are able to create real enterprise value are highly-sought after and command compensation commensurate with their technical and leadership capabilities. In the long run, these leaders prove they are worth a higher investment because of the value they deliver for customers and the equity value they create for investors and stakeholders. It’s this caliber of leader that we take great pleasure in delivering for our clients.