Teams and Projects Top 6 Skills of a Successful Leader in Creative Technologies By Jennifer Martin | April 21, 2021 Interested in becoming a leader in your organization and want to learn the skills needed to be a success? Did you know that you can finish a master’s degree in as little as one year, attending full-time? The Master of Science in Management and Leadership degree can be completed in 12 months, and it prepares you with the skills you need to lead in creative technologies. Whether you work at Apple, Google or a creative startup, you will have the skills needed to lead your Silicon Valley organization. So, what skills does a successful leader need? What are the Skills of a Successful Leader? There are many skills that make a successful leader in creative technologies. Whether it is motivating a team, leading by example or trusting team members through delegation, a successful leader has a specific set of skills that empowers them to lead an organization, while motivating the team to follow. Skill #1: Motivation A good leader is a motivator of their team. They motivate by example, in addition to offering rewards. A leader has access to many different motivational rewards, including intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. An intrinsic reward is intangible but offers recognition for quality work, giving the team member a sense of achievement. Getting high praise from a manager can be very motivating. Some team members will be more motivated by extrinsic rewards. These are tangible rewards, whether they are an honorary plaque or bonus, they recognize team members for their outstanding performance. Both types of rewards are motivating, it is up to the leader to identify which will motivate their team. A leader can also be motivating through their sheer drive to achieve. This drive is infectious and successful leaders are committed to both personal and organizational goals. A leader also motivates by offering challenging work and through the increased communication among the team. They are not micro-managers and trust their team members through delegation. Another aspect of leadership and motivation is transparency. Team members want to know what is going on and having this knowledge motivates them to follow their leader. A transparent leader offers authentic feedback and truth in exchange for their team’s loyalty. Skill #2: Management Skills Good management skills are imperative for any leader, especially in creative technologies. A leader that has good management skills can uphold the organization’s mission and goals, with the support of their team. Management skills involve proper planning, good decision-making, problem solving skills, communication, delegation and time management. Planning – an important skill for any leader to master. Planning involves clear objectives that the team will be responsible for meeting. Resources are taken in consideration during the planning phase to delegate responsibilities and understand budgets and time tables. The ability to organize activities, identify and set goals, develop strategies, outline tasks and adhere to resource limits like time and money are important management skills to master. Also, the ability to methodically identify steps that need to be taken in order to complete creative projects is an important strength for any leader. Decision Making – leaders of an organization make many decisions and decision making is a key indicator of a leader’s success. The ability to make the right decisions will determine the success or failure of the creative organization. The leader must be accountable for their decisions and they should take responsibility for their team’s actions. Part of good leadership is the ability to delegate while trusting the team members to take responsibility for their work. Problem Solving – problems arise from time to time and a successful leader will take a methodical approach to the problem-solving process. They will have the ability to identify a problem, figure out what the outcome should be, identify all the ways that the problem can be solved, and come up with the right solution that satisfies all stakeholders. Good problem-solving skills will ensure confidence from team members in the manager’s ability to lead. Communication – a successful leader keeps the lines of communication open and values everyone’s input, allowing the team to work as a unified group toward a common goal. They fully convey their expectations, so team players know what is expected of them and they have clear goals to achieve. The leader discusses the obstacles to success and identifies creative solutions. Delegation – a good leader has the ability to trust their team and is willing to delegate important tasks to key members of the creative team. A successful leader will balance the team’s workload, without overwhelming any one team member, while allowing the team to support one another. A leader that can delegate doesn’t waste time, gets the most of out of productivity and ensures that the team members take responsibility for their contribution. Time Management – a successful leader is resourceful with their time. They understand how to prioritize and still get all the important tasks completed for the creative project. They can work with tight deadlines and make good decisions under pressure. With quality time management skills, the leader has the ability to improve productivity and efficiency and build trust among team members. Skill #3: Consistency Knowing the vision of the creative organization is important for team members. having a the same goal each and every day. A good leader is consistent with responsibilities and this builds trust with team members. Team members that trust that the vision will stay constant are more likely to follow their leader. Skill #4: Critical Thinking A leader that has good critical thinking skills is able to fully understand a situation based on all available facts and information. They are good at processing the facts, defining a problem and developing a solution. They will also take a methodical approach by collecting all the information and data needed to make a decision, ask important questions and analyze the possible solutions. Then a successful leader will execute the solution and analyzing the outcome to create future protocols. Skill #5: Team Building Building a team from the beginning is important so no time is wasted moving in a positive direction. A successful leader can identify an undervalued employee or recruit someone that will mesh well with the team. A leader that is a team builder will allow everyone to take ownership of the goals, empower everyone to collaborate, and nurture their employees to make them the best they can be. And healthy communication will foster a collaborative effort. Skill #6: Continuous Learning There is always something to learn as a manager and leader of creative technologies. Technology is always changing, the rules of the game evolve, and skills need refining. Whether they are learning a project management philosophy like Agile or Six Sigma, a successful leader will continue to learn and grow throughout their career. They also expect their team to continue to learn and grow, making the team stronger. Final Thoughts Think you have what it takes to lead an organization in creative technologies? It is time to take the next step and achieve your master’s degree in management and leadership. With this degree you will have the skills to lead your organization. With the passion to succeed and the drive to lead, you can be a natural born leader. Want to Learn More? The Master of Science in Management and Leadership in Creative Technologies degree is designed to get you work-ready either in Silicon Valley or in creative tech industries around the world. This fully online program is driven by a unique core curriculum delivered through interdisciplinary approaches to technology and creative thinking. Through project-based learning, workshops, guest speakers, virtual classes and our exclusive Real World Project Studios™, you will gain management and leadership knowledge and skills as you learn the business of creativity. The University of Silicon Valley is uniquely poised to offer a meaningful and valuable education for 21st century students. We believe in an education that directly correlates with the work you’ll be doing after you graduate. Interested in learning more? 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