Information technology and infosec leaders and managers are typically equipped with the core skills such as cloud computing, IT project management and security and compliance. However, in order to be a leader in these fields today, IT and infosec professionals must have more than just the required IT technical skills.
“Soft skills” typically refer to those management skills that executives know are universal and can be applied to any industry, including information technology. Here are four soft skills IT leaders must have:
Leaders with good communication skills are strong in both their speaking and writing. They know how to articulate their point with influence, directness, and compassion and because of this, demonstrate a real ability to raise their organization’s game. These leaders are also able to listen to their team in order to better understand and benefit the communication process.
For IT and infosec leaders who are overseeing employees who may not be performing at the desired level, giving criticism is extremely important in maintaining high standards and producing work that meets those standards. Leaders should give criticism in private, with specific details about what they want to change and ask for the employee’s input so they feel they’re part of the solution.
General business knowledge
IT and infosec leaders are no longer able to just sit in their office and focus on new technology or the latest security procedures. Today’s fast pace of innovation requires leaders who can understand how their new technology and security can be used to solve real business problems faced by the organization. With everyone being tech savvy, these leaders will be looked to for insight into how technology and security can help improve the business.
Ability to remain calm and execute
While the natural reaction during a time of crisis—unexpected downtime, a missed deadline, or a security breach—may be to panic, leaders who can keep calm and deter their team away from unnecessary stress during that time can make or break their ability to quickly and effectively resolve the situation.
For IT and infosec professionals who are looking to enhance their leadership soft or technical skills, here is a handy list of security training options. In addition, professionals should consider attending Secure360 Twin Cities 2017 for great sessions, speakers and keynotes on various security and leadership topics.