A team emerges from the field, a leader at the helm, embodying resilience, collaboration, and a journey of continuous self-improvement.

Tech Leadership: A Dynamic Contact Sport for Empowering Strong Teams

Written by Thought Collective
Published on November 02, 2023

Key Takeaways

  • Leadership, akin to a contact sport, requires leaders to actively engage, inspire, and empower their teams, fostering a strong, cohesive team dynamic.

  • The current digital age, exacerbated by the pandemic, underscores the critical importance of genuine human connections within teams to foster trust and facilitate success.

  • Facing and navigating through challenges is integral to leadership, akin to how a sports team deals with losses, learning from setbacks to evolve and improve.

  • Continuous learning and staying ahead of industry trends and technologies are essential for leading effectively in the rapidly changing tech landscape.

  • Continuous mentorship and guidance, similar to coaching in sports, play a crucial role in the development of leaders, emphasizing the importance of adapting mentorship to fit individual leadership styles.


In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, leadership is not a solitary endeavor. It's a dynamic, interactive sport where leaders must engage and inspire their teams, navigate challenges, and continuously strive to be better.

Welcome to the world of technology leadership, where the principles of collaboration, empowerment, energy, and enthusiasm redefine the benchmarks of exceptional leadership. I want to explore why leadership is indeed a contact sport, and how exceptional leaders excel in this competitive arena.

The Essence of Leadership

At Thought Collective, we believe that leadership should go beyond daily management. It should be about guiding and inspiring your team to reach new heights. It is about not only being the captain of the ship but providing the wind in its sails. As a true leader you don’t merely steer the course; you shape the voyage.

Have you ever thought about leadership this way?

The Power of Connection

In an era of COVID19 with remote work and digital communication, the importance of genuine human connection cannot be overstated.

Inspiring leadership hinges on the power of connection, continuous feedback, and follow-up. Technology leaders must forge meaningful connections within their teams, with their peers, and mentors.

In my career, I’ve been fortunate to work with several exceptional leaders. One stands out, Mike . He drove hard, uncompromising in the pursuit of excellence, but always had our backs. He earned trust through his actions, and open communications. This created an environment where we weren’t afraid to stretch, to take on calculated risks, and create differentiated value. This inspiring leadership stays with me today.

Creating trust to get the most out of your team requires real contact. Imagine a sports team that never met face-to-face? Successful teams aren't just a collection of individuals; they are a cohesive unit that communicates, collaborates, and supports one another. Similarly, in the world of technology leadership, it's the relationships you build within your team that will propel you and your team forward.

How do you foster connections within your team?

Navigating Challenges

In any sport, challenges are inevitable. Leadership is no exception. It's during adversity that true leaders emerge. How does your leadership help your team tackle setbacks?

Consider an NFL team. A loss doesn’t define the season; it's an opportunity to learn, adapt, evolve, and overcome. Likewise, in technical leadership, setbacks are steppingstones to growth. When you face challenges head-on, honestly accepting the true facts, you not only learn valuable lessons but also inspire those around you with honesty, and resilience.

Can you recall a situation that made you a better leader?

Continuous Learning

In the realm of technology, innovation is constant. Staying abreast of industry trends and emerging technologies is critical for technology leaders. A “healthy level of paranoia”, never resting on your technology laurels, is an important quality to foster within your team.

Think of a skilled surfer riding the waves. They are in constant motion, adapting to the ever-changing conditions of each wave, no two waves are identical. Similarly, technology leaders must ride the waves of innovation, continuously learning and adapting to stay current and just enough ahead.

How do you ensure you stay ahead in the rapidly evolving tech landscape?

Mentorship and Guidance

In a contact sport, coaches play a pivotal role in honing the skills of each athlete. Similarly, continuous mentorship and guidance are indispensable for technology leaders. Experienced mentors provide insights, share wisdom, and offer invaluable support in the development of leaders, and their teams.

Good leaders don't just strategize; they inspire, motivate, and bring out the best in each individual player. A great mentor does the same for emerging leaders, helping them unlock their full potential. But in order for it to be effective it has to fit your leadership style. It doesn’t have to pretty to be effective.

Have you had a mentor who has made an impact on your leadership journey?

In the world of technology leadership, success is not achieved in isolation. It's a contact sport that demands connection, and continuous learning. As a successful technology leader you need to embrace the contact sport mentality. It's not just about leading; it's about leading with impact, purpose, and enthusiasm.

This is not a destination; it's a journey filled with meaningful interactions, challenges, and growth.

So, step onto the field, embrace the contact sport of leadership, and become the wind in your team's sails.

It’s game time, let’s go!

Related Articles

Dive into our curated collection of articles on this topic to gain insights and strategies from leading experts in the field, enhancing your ability to lead with confidence and influence.