How can software solutions boost your leadership skills?
Leaders guide, enable, and encourage. Leaders are reliable, calculated, and visionary. While there may be an innate and art-like component to leadership, leaders are more often nurtured than born that way. Experience, resilience, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, and even failure contribute vastly to the leadership mix. As leaders grow into this title over time, it is important to understand why their path is not by accident, why they do not merely slide into their profession.
The tools they use, and the software tools in particular, can support leaders in their decisions, strategy and vision, without which employees will not follow:
- Engagement with productivity metrics
- Interaction with task-time management
- Visualization of gaps and inefficiencies
- Comparative view of projects and progress
- Identification of untapped potential and invest in it
Leadership as a forged path
Leadership is all about getting everyone on board based on common vision and mutual understanding. It is easier said than done, as team members all have different backgrounds, interests, and prior experiences. Leaders must cater for all, steer the overall path in large and small details, and understand what drives and what stops teams from performing.
It is true that leadership has a vocational, innate component to it, but a leader is still a human being limited by the processing power of their brain. This is where software tools can assist leaders’ thought and decision process. How?
Software tools can bring in the necessary support that back up intuition, gut feeling, and best practices. What is the nature of this support?
- Productivity metrics
- Task-Time management
- Visualization of gaps
- Real-time and historical view of project work
- Assessment of untapped potential
Leadership as driven by software
Software solutions will not turn anyone into a leader long-term or short-term. Software solutions rather act as enablers for better judgement calls.
Engagement with productivity metrics
Software tools can substantiate vision. Use metrics to understand both customer and employee behavior. It is popular to talk about customer centricity and employee satisfaction, but these cannot be achieved outside data, no matter how intuitive you are as a leader. Even the most experienced ship captain requires a compass and a map if the sky is clouded and there are no stars in sight.
Choose tools that extract metrics from:
- Actual tool usage
- Ongoing project dynamics
- Sales vs. Implementation time
Metrics can help you define clear, smart goals that your team can achieve to drive higher customer satisfaction. Metrics help you benchmark performance realistically. In other words, you will be a better leader because you will assess your ideas against data from the field. This gives rise to realistic, grounded plans everyone can follow and contribute to.
Interaction with task-time management
Discipline and tact are at the heart of management. Management requires leaders to balance resources against timelines and tasks. Software solutions help leaders complement their management responsibilities by:
- Breaking down features and goals
- Organizing work hierarchically and encoding dependencies digitally
- Enforcing task delegation and monitoring
When it comes to the actual work employees need to perform, as leader you must promote tools that enforce a culture of sharing and collaboration. In other words, you will be a better leader because you will enforce a safe, digital environment for innovation, critical thinking, and knowledge buildup.
Visualization of gaps and inefficiencies
Things may not go according to plan or things may diverge from the plan to an uncomfortable degree. One of your greatest quality as a leader is to know how to react properly. The most important lesson this type of after-shock can provide is the fact that you need to rely on software that can help you visualize, as well as zoom in and out of the systems and people you are in charge of.
Software can help you identify issues and problems before they happen, in several ways:
- Enable workflow-based views and direct intervention capabilities
- Record data and generate interactive reports on demand
- Offer a digital twin view of your systems In other words, you will be a better leader because you will prevent issues and because you will be able to mitigate them based on well-thought predefined backup plans.
Comparative view of projects and progress
Good leaders get immersed in the actual work of their teams and keep on learning. Software solutions help leaders compare the results and implementation of similar projects or the performance of the same team over time, while also getting instant updates from ongoing projects.
Conflict resolution and in-depth knowledge of the company’s capabilities help leaders focus team effort on what is most relevant at a given time.
In other words, you will be a better leader because you will define the future of your company’s projects by having full-circle information of feature progress and customer expectations.
Identification of untapped potential
It is essential to hone in on each employee’s strengths and convey the right feedback properly. Extracting relevant data from reviews and suggesting alternatives provides ample space for employee development and alignment. Software solutions act as enabler this time around too.
Good leaders acknowledge that they do not have all the answers, so they create a space for answers to come in. Software tools can create a safe digital space for these answers and team interaction. Assess and allow for mistakes, failure and experiments. Use historical data to determine the degrees of freedom developers can juggle with and inform them of the overall “fail fast” strategy and its boundaries.
Build the right knowledge for yourself: architecture, database design, management, tech stack, and so on. Remember that your employees need to build the right knowledge stack too. Use the statistics and metrics from projects to determine the tech or management domains employees perform less optimally in, and suggest relevant training to boost their self-esteem and sense of belonging to a company that puts their wellbeing first. Encourage autonomy and recommend specialized literature based on the insight software tools provide.
In other words, you will be a better leader because you can show genuine care towards your employees.
If we consider leadership skills as being nurtured over time, then software solutions can dramatically smooth out the path leaders tread on.
While challenging, leadership is also uplifting and rewarding, as it involves an ongoing exchange of ideas and knowledge generating better, more sophisticated results. The key questions leaders have to ask start with WHY. Clarifying the WHY and conveying it with integrity, predictability and coherence can boost your team’s motivation and productivity.
Software solutions can support leaders in:
- Understanding and simplifying processes, thus leading to less bureaucracy and more space for creativity
- Gaining insight on productivity and delivery, thus leading to more accurate work load and improved time management
- Matching talent and skills with project work, thus leading to fewer artificial barriers