How Valuable Are Tech Leaders in the Market?

Written by on August 10, 2019

The Impossible Question

I had the opportunity to work with many companies in my 15 + years of management consultancy experience in IT, ranging from startups to Fortune 500 industry giants.

Despite being unique in every other way, they all had this profile in each one of them, without fail: Let’s call him Jon. Jon is a brilliant manager/executive/senior engineer with all the right abilities. Excellent knowledge, kind and enthusiastic soul, sharing yet authoritative. If he were to be followed by an automated HR Grading Bot it would tell Jon “You know everything

Yet he’d been stuck where he was for years. When someone was to be promoted, he was invisible to his managers. He only received his periodic raise of 3-5 percent.



His efforts were not noticed by his peers or his boss. His technical skills were not questioned at all, but they also did not help him to become more influential. He felt there was a secret successful club where he could not come in.

I’m sure you know Jon well. He ought to have been a director or made already loads of cash in a perfect world. Surprise: He’s not. So why is that?

I have my thoughts but for once I have chosen to skip judging and start understanding. I embarked on a quest to shed a light on this mystery.

Why do brilliant IT executives, managers and engineers get stuck in their career?

Almost all those recruiters and HR people with zero experience in IT are the loudest when you search for the answers. Yet, none of their advice worked on Jon.

Hereby I’ve researched a group of Tech Pros. I asked professionals in the middle of their careers critical questions to elicit data in 3 problem domains:

Problem Domains

Is majority satisfied with where they are in their professional lives?

How does their perceived value (which is a direct input to the compensation) correlate with their efforts and current skills?

What are the typical next steps for them, why have not they taken them already?

Research Audience

People who participated to the research have the IT Sector titles such as IT Professional, Senior Software Engineer, Project / Product / Program Manager, Senior System Admin, Service Delivery Director, Cloud Architect, Technology Director / Executive and Chief Technology Officer

They had between 5 and 25 years of experience

70% of them are male and 30% of them are female

Participants were from all over the world