5 Keys to Effective Leadership for Techies


Edited by Yifei Xu

This is a recap of a FocusKPI Analytics Leadership Forum event. Join our LinkedIn group to learn more.

Speaker: Lenore Kantor

President at Growth Warrior; Business growth and leadership coach; Startup Advisor, Mentor and Venture Judge

Former CMO, product management executive and public company spokesperson

Launched 100+ products, 10+ M&A and an IPO

Inner, Outer and Interpersonal Growth Framework

When you walk away with inspirations, motivations, and insights, sometimes it could be great to get an outside perspective to start thinking about things in a different way.

We hope this event will be helping you be the driver of your career and your leadership.

Now, we would like to share some ideas to light your thoughts.

First is a framework to refer to…

Passion and Purpose

Let’s start with an inner element, which originates from your passion and purpose, like what is it that you are here to do?

Another element is how do you communicate your passion and purpose, which gets across your why as well.

Creativity and Growth

On the outer side, there is a creativity element, like what are you building? What is the product? What is technology? Or what are you bringing to the market?

Then there is a growth element, which is how you can make it happen and what is the process you are getting through.


Staying between the internal and the external is the interpersonal environment — how do we relate to each other and build relationships in both the team and the reach.

5 Keys to Leadership

We are going to elaborate more on this framework.

Value — Know what you care about

Start with inner elements.

The key is to know yourself and know your technology. It could be solving a specific problem, but it could be making the world a better place as well.

For example, the data area is complicated, business is using it to boost growth truly. However, we are also hearing concerns about data privacy and abuse.

In this case, a practitioner had better know what matters to him or her most. Once you know yourself clearly, you would be working in alignment with the majority, individuals, or organizations.

Vision — Communicate clearly

The second element is communication, often overlooked by people in technical fields.

Have you thought about how to convey your messages to others? Images and graphs sometimes worth 1000 words but at the same time, we also want our audience to know why we are presenting it in this way.

Opportunities — Add value

The other thing that is often under-looked is the characteristics of tech people. It might be a stereotype that tech folks do not pay much attention to conveying the messages.

Outputs are important while letting people understand by translating the outputs also matters. In this process lies the value as people could actually learn something or benefit from it. And business just wants value as business wants to sell better by providing products and services.

In other words, thinking clearly of what brings about value ensures you stay on the right track and focus on the right priorities. When you reach out to prospective, this could also be your topic.

Strengths — Know what you are good at

Then, what is your strength? We often underestimate things we excel because they are easy for us.

Ask people who know you and yourself, what it is that makes you stand out, and leverage it or them. Gradually you would convince yourself as a good analyst, or leader, or negotiator, etc.

This is not to say skills that could be developed seem unpersuasive, but you really need to be aware of your secret sauce in the market. To sell yourself, both for individuals and businesses, that does not come naturally, so go with the dynamic you are in.

Connection— Build relationships

Finally, inter-personally we need to build relationships. None of us is an island, we should know the people we are working with and for.

In this pattern, you could learn to grow internally and externally by finding things thanks to the open sourcing and sharing of information in today’s age.

Why Do These Matter?

Remember, value plays throughout the campaign of selling yourself because they help with the decision when we know what we care about. This is also the path we are going through to achieve the goal.

When we are looking for opportunities, we are exposed to possibilities as every unique one of us are taking different approaches. This is value.

Good Leadership V.S. Poor Leadership

A good leader should share progress updates and identify challenges. Let’s say you’re working on a project and you realize there was some problem with the data. Naturally, you report it to your supervisor, and good leadership gives you feedback while poor leadership rarely engages or listens to you.


Back in the day, when I worked as a product manager, I designed some technology platforms. So I was the bridge between the business and the technology team.

I remember that I built up a spec, I handed it off to the tech guys and I had used a company acronym. When they coded it, they quoted the acronym not spelling out the full company name as I had expected them to. We uncovered that as we were getting ready to test.

It was a really important lesson for me to learn that you need to have this open communication with the team so that everyone’s on the same page, and people are speaking the same language.

We all benefit by cultivating relationships and our network, good leadership especially making full use of this point. It can be with peers, it can be colleagues.

If we go to work, and we’re sort of in our little box, and we’re not really using the opportunity to understand what other people are doing. We’re missing out on the bigger picture, and not really seeing how everything fits together.

Any Advice on Data Analyst Career Growth?

Answer: If you envision yourself and want to be a manager, then you need to seize on any opportunity to manage other people.

Let’s say you’re in a position where you’re an independent performer. But you can work on projects with other people or take a lead in areas where you build relationships with other people, and you demonstrate your ability to take on more complex projects. I believe this is happening more and more in technical organizations, there are often different tracks.

There is a management track where you are guiding people. And then there is the technical track where you are using your expertise to lead initiatives that are based on your technical chops. It can be helpful to know which of those areas you want to go to.

So if you really want to manage and lead teams, you need to be investing in those people skills, the interpersonal skills, the ability to communicate, like inspiring others and giving feedback and building collaboration. Those are the skills that are going to help you lead a team. Ideally, those are the people that management will recognize.

If you don’t manage anyone right now, but you want to see if you can get on cross-functional teams, build those relationships, and you could transition from being in a pure technology role to a role that interfaces more with clients.

If you are interested in this topic or have any related questions about our event and service, please reach out to NEWS@FOCUSKPI.COM.



Analytics News & Events Powered by FocusKPI

🔔 Each week, we will send you updates about news and events in data analytics/science. More information: https://www.linkedin.com/company/focuskpi