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IT Manager Uses Leadership Skills to Find Solutions

We previously featured Antonio Lyle Viera and his accomplishments in our September 2022 Members in the News. He graduated from Ivy Tech Community College - Kokomo with his associate degree in December 2020.

There’s no doubt Antonio’s educational achievements are impressive. He graduated magna cum laude from Ivy Tech, was a recipient of the Dean’s Award, and was named an Outstanding Student in Cybersecurity Information Assurance. He now serves as the chairperson of the Advisory Board for Ivy Tech’s School of Information Technology. 

He was also featured in an Ivy Tech article last summer, thanks to his post-grad success. It outlined his contributions to Guardian Angel Hospice, where he’s been employed as the IT manager for the past two years. At work, he’s responsible for ensuring the safety and security of patient data, among other crucial tasks. 

How Strong Habits Lead to Success

What does it take to attain lofty goals? The science of leadership is multifaceted, often leading to the complex interplay of both habits and skills. Antonio knows that the good habits he developed as a student are now helping him in his career. 

“Achieving these goals took studying, staying focused, and persevering when I could have easily given up. Finding good study groups and people in the same major who I was able to bounce thoughts off of to make graduating much more of a reality.”

Another secret to successfully attaining big goals is knowing where to seek new information and develop leadership skills. For Antonio, the NSLS has been a significant contributor to his success at work, not only because of the leadership training but also the network it helped him develop. 

“The NSLS helped me become a better leader by preparing me to lead. From seminars and webinars to seeing things in action, being able to mold my leadership from things I have learned with the NSLS has been amazing. Being a part of the NSLS also helped in assuming a leadership role at work, thanks to the things I learned from my peers.”

Why Leading By Example Works

Learning leadership skills isn’t necessarily restricted to formal education. You can even learn to become a better leader from popular movies and television shows. One smart place to start is by defining for yourself what leadership is and what kind of leader you aim to become. In Antonio’s case, good leadership includes a strong sense of teamwork and cooperation. 

“To me, leadership is leading by example, and being someone others can look to and count on because they know you’ll be there for them. It isn't something that a leader sits above all, but walks alongside during the journey.”

It’s also helpful to identify real-life examples of good leadership. Whether that’s a celebrity you admire, a political representative you respect, or a trusted instructor or business leader, you can learn to be a better leader by watching those around you. 

“A leader I look up to is my former IT professor, Robyn Schmidt. When I first started at Ivy Tech, she was someone I could go to if I was having any problems. She’s knowledgeable and consistently reliable on technological issues. Even if she didn't know the answer, she’d do her best to point me in the right direction.”

Antonio’s Advice for Future Leaders

Success isn’t a straight shot; it’s more like a mountain climb with dips and inclines along the way. That’s one reason why Antonio’s first piece of advice for future leaders is to get comfortable with failure.

Even when you fall short of your mark, you learn something you can apply to a subsequent situation. Moreover, he notes that failure can be highly motivational

“Does it hurt to fail? Yes, but don't let that be what defines you. Get up and show failure that it won't get the best of you, and show everyone who doubted you that you can do it.”

Antonio suggests that persistence can pay huge dividends down the line, but it’s also important to remember your network that supports you. 

“Don't be afraid to fall. Get back up, and keep going. Also, don't forget you always have a support system to lean on. You don't have to do everything yourself.”

Finally, he recommends continuing to set higher and harder goals for yourself. There’s always room for improvement, as reflected in his plans for the future. 

“One of my current goals is to become an even better leader than I am now, which I plan to do by taking leadership classes and gleaning even more information from the NSLS.”

Antonio Viera is a great example of a person who recognizes the value of lifelong learning. See what our CEO Neil Khaund learned last year.