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Tips from Top CEOs for Success in the Tech Industry

11.5 million people in the United States work in the technology industry, so it’s no surprise that many of them might feel lost in the crowd. But for those with drive and ambition, tech can offer a speedier path to the corner office than other industries. After all, where else do you so often hear of billion-dollar companies starting in dorm rooms and garages?

Becoming a leader in your field doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a great deal of learning and development to become (and stay) successful. Whether you’re a computer programmer or a hardware engineer, you can benefit from the advice offered by successful technology CEOs. And who knows? You might be the next one to join this list.

Here are five lessons you can learn from today’s top tech CEOs.

Work as a team

“It’s our ability to work together that makes our dreams believable and, ultimately, achievable.” Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO

When striving toward long-term goals, it’s easy to forget the importance of teamwork. We can get caught up in our own progression and success and fail to appreciate how working with others can help achieve both personal and organizational goals. Satya Nadella claims that his experience playing cricket shaped his views on leadership and on working in teams, and he’s a big believer in the power of collaboration. Working with a team can create a great deal of synergy within an organization, and good leadership can inspire a group to work efficiently. The next time you feel stuck when reaching for your goals, reach out to a group of trusted colleagues. You may be able to accomplish a task much faster, and more effectively, with others than on your own.

Establish a strong vision

“The best corporate vision becomes part of a company’s DNA.” Mark Hurd, Oracle CEO

In his book The Value Factor, Mark Hurd often highlights the benefits of corporate vision. Hurd notes the importance of vision for leaders by saying, “As leaders, our priorities and values set the tone for the rest of the organization.” Operating within an organization with strong ideals and goals encourages communication, which can allow individuals to thrive. Many people find more success when they’re aligned with their company’s vision. It’s much easier to reach your objectives when you’re cognizant of the end goal, so don’t be afraid to sit down with a supervisor or manager to learn more about your organization’s values.

Adapt to change

“Things are always changing. Part of being successful here is being comfortable with not knowing what’s going to happen.” Susan Wojcicki, YouTube CEO

Change is the only consistent aspect of the technology industry. In fact, more than 34,000 tech startups launched in 2017 alone — that’s more than 90 per day. New technologies are created constantly, which makes one’s ability to adapt to change a key quality for success in tech. Susan Wojcicki has noted that an individual in the tech industry is adept to managing uncertainty, and Henry Jackson, CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, takes a similar stance by urging others to “lead and shape [y]our organizations for whatever the future brings.” Demonstrating rapid response is sure to be noticed, and it will likely benefit your career while also contributing to your organization’s goals.

Give every opportunity your all

“You don’t have to be a genius or a visionary or even a college graduate to be successful. You just need a framework and a dream.”  Michael Dell, Dell CEO

Michael Dell recognizes that it’s easy to feel the pressure of expectations regardless of where you are in your career. You might find yourself questioning your background or abilities, but there’s no single path to success. Dell started his computing empire in his dorm room at the University of Texas at Austin. Any opportunity can be a learning experience as long as you put forth your best effort. When striving toward success, lateral thinking is important. The humble beginnings of these five CEOs are a great reminder that anything is possible.

Think Creatively

“Never define yourself as a product and… never define yourself by your competition, either. If you live and define yourself by your product or competition, you will lose sight of who your customer is.” Ginni Rometty, IBM CEO

Virginia “Ginni” Rometty, IBM’s first female CEO, is no stranger to a bit of creative thinking. In her efforts to reshape IBM, Rometty has prioritized the importance of learning to “become the disruptor, instead of the disrupted.” Rometty encourages others to adapt a consumer-first perspective when thinking creatively. Applying creative thinking across all business decisions ensures that you and your company will be prosperous in the long run. Competitor-driven decisions lack focus on the business-to-customer connection, which is the real connection at stake. “Relentless reinvention,” Rometty says, makes you a “steward for the long term.”

There’s a great deal of information to learn from today’s successful tech CEOs. Listening to those who have made an impact is a great motivator to take charge of our own success. Leaders in the industry have plenty of advice to share, so it’s wise to learn from of their experiences.

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Maddie Davis is Co-founder of Enlightened Digital and tech-obsessed female from the Big Apple. I live by building and redesigning websites, running marathons, and reading anything and everything on the NYT Best Sellers list.