In James McGovern's post he describes the need for leadership in architecture and the importance of ego:
With this thought in mind, I would like to figure out how to get enterprise architects to not only have more ego, but to encourage the eliminiation of this practice by evil human resource departments who have gotten the notion of ego twisted...
I agree that leadership is essential for EA to succeed. I believe that a lack of leadership and process is the reason most architecture programmes are started to begin with. My colleagues and I try to run architecture as a service to the business. Where possible, as a humble service to the business. This was a point driven home to me early in the game, and thus far, it has led to some success. Much of the service we try and provide is leadership in technology and processes that will allow business to succeed.
A healthy ego goes a long way when you're fighting for a beliefs, principles and processes that are not necessarily well understood within an organization, especially in the beginning. The setbacks and disappointments that are inevitable when you're pushing some very new ideas can be softened by a healthy ego. I think that confidence, professionalism, and a forthrightness of attitude and speech go a really long way in this regard.
A good thick skin does not hurt either.
There are some other qualities that I feel are very important for an architect, including:
- be a knowledgeable generalist.
- have excellent communication skills, you'll use them a lot
- the ability to think logically, and abstractly
- be able to think at both a very high, and very low level of detail
- be comfortable with risk and unknowns
These are the ones that come to mind, I'm sure there are many others. Some of them can be worked on and improved, whilst others I believe are inherent in a persons personality. Communication is one of mine that I try to improve constantly, hence one of the reasons for starting this blog.