Leadership Quality: Does Leader Need to Have a Strong Technical Skill?

4 mins read
what makes a good leader

Being an expert is one of the crucial factor of a good leader.

Why would the organization hire someone who are incompetent and unfit in their position to lead the team?

Let me share you one of the illustration:

A kingdom is currently ruled by a 80 years old king with 10 years boy as the only heir. All of a sudden, the king fell sick and passed away.

The young prince then forced to continue the father’s legacy as he is the only true heir with the bloodline.


With lack of experience and wisdom, the king is struggling to rule and make decision.

Luckily, the king’s advisor is always there to advise the young king.

Technical Skill Does Matter

If there is no bloodline rule applied, anyone can just replace the young king in the illustration above.

If we talk about experience and capability, the king’s advisor is more fit to be the new king.

In today’s world, fortunately things have changed. Now, we are looking for someone who has the most capability and wisdom to rule any organization.


When we’re hiring a leader to lead a team, we’re looking for a capable leader, not an incompetent boss who are not fit in their position.

A leader with lack of technical skill will be a bossy leader, because of their incapability

Why Leader Need to Be an Expert

Although there are some argument about this topic, being a leader with strong technical and basic skill will  have bunch of benefits as below:

1. Able to Help The Team

A leader with a strong basic and experience in related field will able to help the team member if they’re facing difficulties on their job.

This is because this leader have been through what they’re facing before so that they know what is the best solution for it.

On the other side, a leader with lack of experience and no basic will have difficulties to help their member.


They might just passed the question to the other member of the team. Why would we need such a leader if we can solve everything by our own?

“A leader with no basic will be useless to the team.”

2. Get Respect From The Team

If the leader is not capable and incompetent, the team member will just look down on them.

“When you becoming a new boss, there are gonna be ton of questions about your competency.” said Linda Hill, Harvard Business School professor and coauthor of Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader.

Charisma is not enough to be a leader, competency should come too.”

A leader should have plus point that makes them outstanding from the employee.

Not only soft skill and charismatic, but a leader should have better technical skill and capability too.


Would you like to have a leader that ask the team to guide him/her instead of guiding the team to be better?

3. Bring the Team to The Next Level

With a strong basic and knowledge, a leader is able to bring the team to the next level. This is because a good leader know the direction clearly.

In addition, a leader who is already expert in the field is able to grow the team member. With a strong basic, they will be able to teach some technical skills to the team members.

4. Efficiency and Effectivity of The Team

Knowing which tasks are important and which are not is very crucial in a team. This leads to efficiency and time consuming of the whole team.

A leader with lack of technical skill and poor basic will be just a clueless person with no direction. Without knowing what are the task that the team member is doing, it will just create a chaos in the team.


Instead of creating extra work that is not important for the members, a leader should be able to minimize the process and find a faster way to finish some task.

In addition, a clueless leader will also waste the team member’s time by keep questioning them on some basic questions and delay their work as a result.

5. Team Member Retention

Many people believe that employee retention is somehow related to how good the leader in the organization is.

By having a good leader in a team, the employee will have reason to stay longer in the team.

In some case, some employees prefer to have lower wage in condition having a capable and smart leader in the team. The reason is they want to learn more and get more insight from the leader.


On the other hand, if the team is having an incapable leader, the organization will suffer a high turnover rate.

What to Do If You’re a Leader with No Basic Skill Set?

If you’re one the leader that hired to the team with no basic skill set related, there still something you can do to fix it.

Make an Effort to Catch Up

Don’t make yourself clueless forever. Instead, try to develop and learn your basic skill set from the team member.

Remember to avoid asking the repetitive question every time to your team member.

If you realize that you’re a slow learner, spend an extra hours after working time to memorize and go through the things that you’ve learnt.


If you can catch up fast and made a significant progress, it will transform your team member’s initial perspective from negative to positive!

Listen to Your Team Member

“Humble as ever but aware of your value”

The higher you are in the hierarchy, the more humble you should be , and the more respected you will be.

Lack of technical and basic skill is an indicator that contributed to lack of leadership value. Hence, you should be more humble and listen to your team member.

Your team member might have better insight than you since they’re the one that hands on the task.

Instead of applying some extra process, you should ask their opinion first and analyze if it is really necessary to not.


Also, avoid of being coercive that always come out with “Do as what I say”.

Bottom Line

The best leaders know that they still have much to learn and continue to develop skill all the time. One of the main characteristic of good leader is their ability to adapt to change and their flexibility.

Having a technical skills enable you to communicate, make decision, solve problem, and grow your team further.