The term Renaissance man is usually reserved for the likes of a Leonardo da Vinci or a Galileo Galilei. But Author Charles Araujo for CIO Insight believes that we in the modern era (both men and women) should embrace our inner da Vinci. He says:
…Renaissance men of centuries ago [were]held in such high regard…Amassing this sort of breadth of expertise and applying it in meaningful ways is no simple feat, especially in today’s ever changing and complex world. But I believe we are entering a time in which all of us must move ourselves a little bit closer to this ideal. I believe we all must become Renaissance leaders.
When I Grow Up…
Not knowing “what you want to be when you grow up” is possibly an asset. Take, for example, a man named Roy Atkinson. Araujo sees him as the quintessential Renaissance man of the 21st century. Now a senior writer and analyst with HDI, Atkinson made a professional living playing music for 20 years. What Araujo finds so remarkable about Atkinson’s career journey is that his diverse job history (as a musician, philosopher, construction worker, bank teller) gave him the necessary skills to excel at his current position as a digital leader.
When IT pros attempt to develop business acumen, it can be a difficult switch from their familiar role as hard-skilled technicians. That is why Araujo cautions would-be digital leaders to avoid spending their time in one place doing one thing. In the past, deep specialization was valued. Now the opposite is true. The need for leaders who are equal parts science and art, equal parts humanity and technology can be applied to both IT and business professions alike. Araujo identifies the five key traits of this leadership style:
- Eagerness to Learn
- Emotional Awareness
In the midst of a complex and rapidly changing world, technology leaders must take a cue from the old masters. By working through a diverse set of experiences, today’s IT professionals can gain the range expertise and creativity necessary to handle any number of challenging scenarios.