I was just asked to give my top 5 qualities that I’d like to see in an IT Team Leader. Here’s what I came up with, in order of preference:
- Dedication to excellence in communication: honesty, clarity, transparency, approachability, willingness to listen to the people closest to the problem at hand.
- Ability to convince upper management of the realities on the current business & IT environment and the necessary steps for IT to help achieve business goals.
- Familiarity and/or experience with strategies that make a successful IT department.
- One of the ways to demonstrate this familiarity is to have read & be able to discuss some of the excellent and important books on the subject: Peopleware, The Mythical Man-Month, The Inmates are Running the Asylum, Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering. There are many others. I expect an IT team leader to have read and understand at least two of them.
- Ability and drive to eliminate obstacles to the productivity of the IT team: a problem-solver.
- Practical experience with technology and/or software development.