What Traits Make Up a Successful CTO?

Posted: 20 Dec 2017

What Traits Make Up a Successful CTO?

The role of a Chief Technical Officer (CTO) is an executive-level position, where the individual is responsible for overseeing the technological processes of the organisation.

Due to the importance of the role, it is crucial that this person has a specific set of skills and traits that allow them to manage and identify the needs of the company.

In addition to having a wealth of experience in the field, a CTO should be able to identify potential risks and opportunities thanks to their knowledge, which will ensure the organisation runs as efficiently as possible.


The term CTO gained popularity in the 1990’s with the emergence of dot com companies. Despite the role being established for over a decade, there is often confusion surrounding what the job entails. With no defined specifications as to what they should be able to do, it is vital that the CTO can be flexible in the work that they do.

Previously, the role of a CTO was interchangeable with that of a Chief Information Officer. Depending on the size of the company, these positions may be merged to create one role, incorporating both the strategic planning and technology-focused responsibilities into one.


As the CTO will represent the organisation from a product standpoint with customers, it is essential that they have excellent communication skills, including being persuasive when necessary and being able to relay information in a way that can be understood by people with little-to-no knowledge of the industry.

Technical understanding

Due to the ever-changing nature of the industry, it is essential that CTOs keep up-to-date with emerging software and technological trends. Not only will they be expected to have a thorough understanding of their niche field but a broader grasp of the industry is also important.


Faced with difficult decisions and short deadlines, being able to make difficult but informed decisions is something that they are likely to have to do frequently. Despite not always having all the necessary information that is needed, they will need to identify the biggest risks and proactively ensure that these are avoided.

High EQ

It is important that a CTO has a high emotional intelligence (EQ) to read signals from individuals and react appropriately. Being able to understand cues from people both within the organisation and externally is crucial to ensure the CTO reacts accordingly. Having a high EQ ensures that the CTO will be able to act as a successful leader, allowing their team to work cohesively.

If you think that you have what it takes to be a successful CTO, then why not speak with one of our Specialist Recruiters? Our wealth of experience will aid you in landing the perfect position from our selection of CTO jobs in Ireland, so get in touch today via our contact us page here.

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