On the 4th of July TechHuddle’s CEO Richard Yeo, who came especially from London to Sofia, gave a TechHuddle Academy lecture on Leadership and shared his experience and path of becoming a leader.
His presentation covered thoughts and real examples from his career about what it takes to be a leader; what skills and qualities you need to develop to become a leader and how to behave and handle stressful situations and negative personalities.
‘Leaders are not born. Leaders are made.’, started his presentation Richard, and added: “I didn’t set out to be a leader. Nobody taught me how to be a leader - I learnt to be a leader by pushing myself, trial and error and observing.”
While talking about these challenges, he shared some real examples from his career that taught him how to deal with setbacks. You need to practise every day, gaining valuable experience from your day-to-day decisions, learning from your own and others’ mistakes and most important - always to be ready to answer back to challenges.
More than 30 people, young IT professionals executing or preparing for lead roles, attended the event and joined the conversation at the end asking questions and exchanging leadership experience.
On the question of how he would try and make changes if he was not the CEO, but a manager or a team lead, Richard said ‘Communication. Data. These are the key points that you need to focus on. Having a proof of concept will help you immensely. Data doesn't lie. Data doesn't play politics and doesn’t have an agenda. People can get affected by their own emotions, perceptions and habits. The proof of concept is helpful here as well - you can focus your argument on something that they can see in action and compare to what they have or don't have.’
Another question from the audience was related to managing conflicts and increasing conflict situations. Richard’s opinion on this topic was that “You need to find the balance, avoiding extreme position but trying to make a constructive conversation for all parties.” Quite similar to what he later shared about maintaining friendships when you are the in a leading role: ‘Friendship is friendship, but when it comes to work, you have to behave in a professional manner, following your organisation’s rules and goals. People should make difference between friendship and work as these are two separate things.’
These and lots more questions were discussed during the meeting which comes to show that the lecture topic and the speaker itself evoked the interest of the audience, being educational and motivational at the same time.