Thursday, October 2, 2008

Transforming Yourself into a Technical Leader

Some of the interesting points about the session:

Stephen Tolopka from Intel started the session with a very interesting question that, “What is the difference between a leader and a manager?”

Linda Apsley from Microsoft said that, “Women don’t realize how far they can go”.

Ramune Nagisetty from Intel mentioned that even her mom faced lots of barrier in her technical career and so does majority of other women today. However, today people admit the problems more openly.

Monique Jeanne Morrow from Cisco looks at disruptive technologies and mentors more men than women because there are so few women in the technical fields.

Ira Pramanick from Google mentioned that in the 17 years of her career, she has seen very few women at higher level. Ira founded (or co-founded) “Magic” to motivate high school girls to study science, engineering and mathematics.

Catherine C. Lasser from IBM said that the leaders take the lead and make sure that the right work is done. She is interested in disruptive business models and said that you can’t dictate these to people but you have to motivate people to come on board.

The panelists believe that leadership is a lot about passion, the ability to change the status quo, and is absolutely collaborative. Leadership is changing what people think “is possible”. The requirements for being a leader are passion, inspiration, ability to motivate and show the path to others.

According to Ira, the prerequisites for being a technical leader are strong technical skills, ability to set examples, and the ability to divide work between people according to what they are good at. Give credit when the team members perform well and take the responsibility when something goes wrong. Be passionate about people and their growth. Leadership is about taking risks. Take a challenging problem and find innovative approaches to solve the problem. It’s OK to fail and never become too comfortable about the work you are doing. Solid Planning is very important

One panelist said that leadership can’t be taught while other said that there are communication courses that you can take to polish your skills. Socialization aspect is very important. Communicate up, down, and laterally. Be true to what you are and don’t try to change your personality to “fit-in”. Don’t stop doing something useful when you become an executive J. It’s very important to be a learner throughout your life. Learning doesn’t stop!

Additional details about this session can be found in Kate's post on the same topic. I did a voice-recording for the session and will update the post soon with more interesting details.

Till laters, stay smiling :-)

1 comment:

Kate said...

Cool, thanks for getting those details I missed! :)

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