Great leaders know how to think big. As a VPE or CTO, your leadership role puts you in a position to make important changes and guide policy.
But as a technical leader of your company, you’re almost always incredibly busy. It’s impossible to handle every single demand on any given day, which makes prioritization of tasks an important part of your daily decision-making. How do you know you’re making the right choices and working on the items that will make the largest impact?
The following list should remind you of the daily opportunities you have to make a real difference for your team, your peers, and the company itself.
1. Prioritize High-Value Tasks
As a VPE or CTO, you probably have more tasks on your plate than you can accomplish in a day. It’s so easy to fall into a habit of tackling to-do list items as they slide into your inbox, but sometimes those items pile up and leave you very little time to work on things that really make a difference.
As you’re deciding what to work on next, consider the tasks that could have a long-term, strategic impact. If your work today will still be meaningful in six months, it’s probably worth your time. Sometimes, the menial things just have to wait.
2. Focus On Team Health
This may look different every day. On Monday, you might plan an excellent staff meeting that aligns everyone on your team to the same strategic priorities. On Friday, you could meet with team members one-on-one to hear what’s on their minds or give specific constructive feedback about this week’s work.
Other days, you can devote some effort to growing your team. Just because your company isn’t hiring right now doesn’t mean it never will be. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the talent pool and position your company in an attractive way.
Some ways to accomplish team growth are to scroll through LinkedIn and reach out to promising candidates, conduct interviews with people in your current pipeline, or overhaul your hiring and marketing materials to show people why your company is a great place to work.
3. Collaborate With Your Peers
When you move up the chain of technical leadership to the VPE or CTO level, it’s probably because you do a great job managing the people working under you. If you’re the engineering lead, you likely spend every day thinking of ways you can help your immediate team become more successful.
If you’re laser-focused on that, however, you may lose sight of how many opportunities you have to work together with your peers — the other department leads and executives. When you can, spend time trying to understand the rest of the leadership team.
- What are their priorities?
- What are their frustrations?
- What are they getting stuck on?
- Can you do anything in your position to make things run more smoothly for their departments?
No leader is an island. The head of sales, the head of products, and every other leadership position in the company should work together as one big peer network.
4. Anticipate Roadblocks And Seek Opportunities
In most businesses, the landscape constantly changes. So does technology. As a technical lead, you will need to look ahead and see those changes coming before they happen.
Sometimes that means anticipating potential threats and taking measures to avoid them. Other times it means seizing opportunities. Stop and consider:
- Is there a problem the company needs to figure out?
- Is a competitor making a major move?
- What are some project ideas nobody seems to be looking at right now? Is that gap something you need to jump on?
- Is there a new technology development that could impact how you build or deliver your product?
- By harnessing a new technology, could you unlock a new market or improve on a product?
You might not run through this list every single day, but these questions should be on your mind most of the time.
5. Improve Your Team’s Efficiency
As you look for new opportunities, don’t forget to think about optimizing your engineering team’s development costs. If a few small tweaks could impact your bottom line in a big way, you’d be leaving money on the table by not taking advantage of that.
But how do you know which processes need optimization? And how do you measure whether your team is becoming more or less efficient?
Our platform puts detailed reports and real-time notifications about development costs and cloud spending where they matter the most: right in front of your engineers. With CouldZero, you and your team can make informed decisions about how best to build and distribute your products with cost efficiency in mind.