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 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.
“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
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.