How do you leverage the smartest minds in your company so that they also become your best leaders?
Wonder how to transform technical managers and geeks into successful leaders?
On this episode of The Shape of Work podcast, our guest is Christian Espinosa who helps organizations develop their team’s technical minds so they become better humans and strong leaders who excel in every role.
In addition to working as a Managing Director at Cerberus Sentinel, Christian Espinosa is a cybersecurity engineer, a best-selling author, entrepreneur, and leadership coach with experience ranging from working with various technology companies to running his own.
Having been a part of the industry for almost three decades, Christian is a speaker, coach, and trainer in the Secure Methodology, helping to make the smartest people in the room the best leaders in the field through his book, ‘The smartest person in the room’.
Our interview with Christian covers a variety of fascinating insights:
Recipe for Creating Good Leaders
Christian opines that everyone can learn leadership skills, but not everybody is allowed to develop these. Generally, one takes it for granted that technically sound individuals also make good leaders. However, it is hard for an individual to transform into a good leader without some training and coaching.
Challenges to Creating Good Leaders Among Smart People
Christian says that if you constantly gauge your significance by being smarter than the next person, you will probably create a divide with the other person. Subsequently, your failure to connect with people will eventually lessen collaborative effort due to a lack of communication and empathy.
The desire to be significant at the expense of others will only lead to frustration among intelligent people. You may be putting in the best effort, but the results would not be something up to your expectations.
The Gradual Process of Creating a Good Leader
Individuals need to change their mindset, communicate better, let go of the desire to be the smartest person, and break some habits. They should also understand that by trying to be the smartest person, they alienate themselves.
This approach impacts communication and leads to poor collaboration, and ultimately, poor team output. One of the key things the individual has to be aware of is that the desire to be so significant holds them back.
Core Tenets of Developing Good Leaders
It is easy to assess the technical skills of an individual but not people skills. Some core tenets for assessment include ownership, communication, listening intently and responding, collaboration, etc. And ask questions by providing scenarios and assessing or rating them on these core values.