How to manage technological talent: the most important characteristics in managers (but also in employees)
In good Portuguese, the popular expression – “to give and sell” – characterizes the abundance of something. Combining it in the context of technological talent seems almost counterintuitive. It would perhaps be more appropriate to say almost the opposite, which allows us to recognize the undoubted importance of two crucial vectors in the management of technological talent: capturing and monitoring.
In the world of consultants, which I integrate and represent here, there is a strong competitiveness in attracting good technological resources, assumed in multiple approaches that other people will know and will be able to characterize much better than me. Therefore, I prefer, and because I am closer to the other perspective, to focus on discussing what I believe are some of the most relevant points to observe in an employee, not only in terms of recognizing their value, but also in managing their potential. evolution, from a career perspective. In my view, technical capacity, responsibility, communication skills and team spirit, in no specific order, constitute the map of essential attributes.
Naturally, from the previous points, technical capacity assumes a high preponderance, since if “omelets are not made without eggs”, it is also not possible to think about a technological career without technical capacity. But, knowing that there are innate competences, such as logical reasoning or analytical thinking skills, and others acquired, it is in this second point that we have the greatest scope of action while responsible for teams and their careers. I emphasize, of course, the vast experience that we can pass on to them, but also the fact that technologies and tools are learned, being always possible to identify which better serve the needs and motivations of each one, and with that define a positive training plan, appropriate, and that mobilizes people’s enthusiasm.
Subsequently, I also highlight the responsibility incurred in daily work, because we are only able to do something of real value when we apply ourselves seriously and professionally. But, again, this being a factor that reveals individual maturity, it is still something variable according to the age, experience and even personality of each one, and it is also a point where senior monitoring is crucial to help shape people to a profile of greater competence.
As team managers, we have to be a little bit of everything, and understand the individual peculiarities. I recall examples from those who needed to be challenged to reach their potential, to those who lack a regular word of trust and appreciation, to those who evolved due to the required accountability … All of them distinct, all successful, based on a different approach, assertive demand and in leadership by example.
In the chapter of soft skills, whose importance I believe is associated not so much with the content of the work but with the way it is carried out, I highlighted communication and team spirit because with the full schedule that affects us all, it is essential that we make good use of time that we have. With this objective, it is necessary that teams exchange information efficiently and assertively, and that mutual assistance be promoted as a key ingredient for success, which I often observe is associated with the individual’s capacity for abstraction in favor of the so-called “big picture”. In this sense, it is the role of the team manager to establish dialogue, question people, challenge them to think from a different perspective and embrace a different posture, focused on the team and common goals.
In conclusion, it is clear that the topics that I presented and discussed in this article are not exact science, and describe much of my own experience, and the dynamics of work that I have been creating together with the different people that I have had the privilege to manage. Still, I think it is a pertinent reflection, because I increasingly feel that, in this context, the difference between success and its opposite is due to small details, so there is nothing that I recommend more than being very attentive, observers, and concerned with ensuring not only our path, but also that of those around us and helping us get where we want as a team. That way, we may never be able to say that we have talent “to give and sell”, but perhaps we can always have enough to do what really competes with us: “give and sell” quality to our customers.
By André Monteiro, team manager at askblue