The Skills That Edtech C-Suite Executives Must Have
We expect leaders to show vision and give direction, but in the current environment, it’s not that simple. Today’s learning environment is too complex and modern learning poses many challenges, which makes leadership for Edtech CEOs problematic. Here are a few suggested skills and qualities that will stand leaders in education technology in good stead.
Authentic leadership starts with self-awareness. This quality has been described as the most important for leaders to have. Self-awareness implies knowledge of one’s strengths and shortcomings. This knowledge allows leaders to exploit their own strengths and compensate for their weaknesses.
Dr. Travis Bradberry, an expert on emotional intelligence, describes self-awareness as the ability to accurately perceive your emotions and stay aware of them as they happen. He sees self-awareness as one of the core skills of emotional intelligence. It has been proven time and time again that emotional intelligence beats IQ when it comes to success in work and life.
2. Above average communication skills
Communication is a critical leadership function. Without effective communication, there is no leadership. Skilled leaders are able to make themselves understood to people on many different levels. This is essential in the education landscape, as edtech leaders have to explain their products and services to a wide range of stakeholders. They need to work closely with and communicate effectively with Chief Academic Officers, Chief Financial Officers, Chief Operating Officers in school districts, as well as principals, teachers and parents.
3. Create new partnerships
Successful edtech leaders realize that partnerships are important. They establish partnerships with schools where their technology can be piloted and new solutions can be developed with input from students and teachers. These educational partners might include kindergartens and other early learning providers, primary schools, middle schools, high schools, libraries, after-school programs, institutions of higher education, or online learning providers.
4. Always a learner
There is a close relationship between the ability to lead and the willingness to learn. As John F. Kennedy said: “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” Most authentic leaders know that they don’t know it all. They are prepared, like Sir Richard Branson, to surround themselves with people who are smarter than they are and learn from them.
5. Ability to simplify complex ideas
Education technology leaders must have the ability to explain difficult concepts to schools in such a way that they understand it and will be able to use the technology themselves. Technology is supposed to make things easier for schools, but in many ways, it is just overwhelming for people who are not trained to work with technology. Edtech leaders must optimize opportunities to support school communities to use technology in meaningful ways.
6. Ability to inspire
To be able to inspire others is an exceptional leadership skill and one that edtech leaders can’t do without. Edtech executives must not only inspire their business to innovate and reach exceptional heights; they must also inspire entire school communities to take a chance on their technology.
These are some of the most important skills and qualities an educational leader should demonstrate in order to lead effectively. The educational leader will also need resourcefulness and an inner conviction of the importance of learning and teaching.