21815 - SCTE Broadband Feb2023 COMPLETE v3

82 Vol. 45 No. 1 - February 2023 Issue WICT Partnership In the tech industry we learn our craft, which can be quantified and measured through the qualifications and accreditations we have achieved. We are revered for our specialist knowledge. So - have you ever wondered what makes some tech leaders more successful than others? It is not their technical know- how, although that is important. What is their secret? There was a time when technical skills were more valued than human skills at work; however that has significantly changed in the past couple of years. Companies are not only recruiting those with increased human skills and higher emotional intelligence, but they are also upskilling workers to address the social and emotional skills that are now high in demand. Such skills were identified in the McKinsey report, “Building Workforce Skills At Scale To Thrive During - And After - The COVID-19 Crisis.” (2021). The study shows that the proportion of companies actively focusing on recruiting for and developing empathy and interpersonal skills have actually doubled since 2020. Human skills are more in demand than ever, and this increases the more senior you become. Your technical skills, it would seem, will only take you so far. Achieve (andmaintain) technical mastery Regardless of how your career started, either with a university degree or learning on the job straight from school or college, the one constant will be that you will have been learning at an exponential pace, just to keep up with technology. Imagine a graph that looks like a hockey stick, which has been your pace of technical learning so far. You’ve likely been gaining formal qualifications, completing courses and reading books and publications to glean the knowledge you require. To maintain your level of understanding and stay ahead of the game, you’ll now be attending events and talking to suppliers and colleagues about the latest technical developments. The key is to continue to stay technically up to date and current, but at a slower pace of learning. How you maintain your technical education at a slower pace is your ultimate challenge. Shift your focus Technical capabilities can advance your career, but not exclusively. There will need to be a shift of focus as you start to manage a small team. This is the reason your time spent on technical learning should slow. Your team are looking to you to set the pace and direction, to solve problems and care about them and their development. You have now moved into the territory of developing your human skills (also known as ‘soft skills’). Take this stage as The Leadership Equation by Sarah Golley Sarah Golley is Mentoring Co-Chair at WICT, and works closely with the team developing worthwhile mentoring partnerships to enable women to succeed in Media, Entertainment and Technology. She is also Founder and Director of Borderless Performance, an executive coaching and mentoring practice based in Hampshire. Sarah Golley, Co-Chair, Mentor Connect Programme, WICT UK