Many articles have been written on characteristics of IT Professionals, some positive and some well, not so positive.  I have come to the conclusion that the expectations of what is needed to be a strong IT leader in an organization doesn’t always match up with what generates a positive, realistic outcome to the organization.  I also learned that some of the traits that are most valued in an IT Leader, such as patience and strong communication skills, do not fit the typical stereotypes that are so often portrayed in our society and in the media.

A great example of this is Saturday Night Live’s popular character, Nick Burns, your company’s computer guy.  Jimmy Fallon will forever be the worst IT Professional known to mankind.  What makes his character so popular?  The fact that we can all relate to a similar experience with an IT representative at some point in our life.

What is not often recognized in society and in the media are the IT Leaders that get it right and they are numerous.  These great IT Leaders have brought the world the computer, the internet, PDA’s, and cloud computing, just to name a few.

So what are the characteristics that Nick Burns needs to work on that has made his colleagues so successful and influential?

A love for learning


Skilled Communicator




Team Oriented

Critical Thinker



Detailed Oriented



Budget Conscious

Adaptable to Change

Skilled Technical Writer

Master these traits and the world is your oyster!  Ignore them and you might find yourself to be as popular as Nick Burns for all the wrong reasons.


YouTube, Top 10 Saturday Night Live Characters, Published August 30, 2012


16 Traits of Great IT Leaders

by: Rich Hein

Wednesday, October 23, 2013