Hilda Espinal

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Hilda Espinal, CTO CannonDesign

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CTOs should fully embrace the fact that long gone are the days when they could just serve as behind-the-scenes heroes.

As technology has advanced from a core need, to an indispensable tool, and now a differentiator for businesses, CTOs roles have evolved similarly. Recognizing this, CTOs should advocate for themselves and do everything in their power to be part of the key decisions and discussions fueling their companies’ strategic paths forward.

Success in these heightened roles isn’t guaranteed though, and CTOs should take key actions to position themselves to thrive, including:

Know Your Business Inside and Out: CTOs should feel empowered to invite themselves to key conversations and meetings they weren’t initially asked to take part in. To ensure success, we must make sure our efforts and goals are in alignment with the business’ overall strategy. And, when possible, we should embrace the opportunity to lead the conversation. I recently asked to present to our workplace strategy team and ended up staying and participating for the entirety of their summit. As a result, assumptions (right and wrong ones) are now demystified and we identified several initiatives to collaborate on that will be fueled by our technology-focused teams.

Speak the Language: I’m a CTO working in the architecture, engineering, and construction profession. The industry-specific ways that the design and build world talk about their work is much different than how other CTOs converse. That means I need to invest effort in using our design teams’ lingo, and also never assume they understand what I’m saying when speaking in technology vocab. Communication is key to succeeding in leadership and this disconnect is a critical piece that can often be overlooked.

Demonstrate Technology as a Competitive Advantage: It’s our job to ensure others in the organization understand technology doesn’t just “keep the lights on,” but actually helps us grow and thrive as a business. In the past year, I’ve been part of the interviewing teams for three of our main market sectors (Health, Higher Ed, and Science + Tech) new work pursuits, and plan to be part of more in 2019. We received positive feedback and results each time I joined the interview teams and, to the best of our knowledge, none of our competitors brought a CTO with them in any instance.

Joel Beasley

Joel began writing code at age 13 selling his first technology by age 18 for one million dollars. In his first three transactions, he developed key relationships and began working with Investors and Chief Technology Officers collaborating and building products in Real Estate, Law, Finance, and Fitness.

Today, Joel is a Chief Technologist volgging the process of building a company LeaderBits.io. Joel is an author of the book Modern CTO a #1 New Release on Amazon and a #1 Technology Podcast with 70k active listeners. Joel has a clear vision and passion for modern technology, placing him as one of the most exciting Chief Technology Officers to watch out for.

Joel is the President of BeasleyFoundation.org a charity that designs STEM related children’s books Back to the Moon and Princess Physicist. These books are then donated to orphanages, homeless pregnant woman and in-need children. Beasley Foundation was formed in February 2017 after Joel, Mitch and Valerie lost their Mother to Leukemia after being diagnosed 6 weeks earlier. Joel and his siblings wanted to do something unique with her life insurance money and the Beasley Foundation was formed.

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