A CIO’s Leadership Philosophy

LeadershipBeing an effective CIO means being a leader. Unlike the military where there are programs to train soldiers on how to effectively lead, corporations do not have such programs.  Many corporate leaders learn to be leaders through trial and error. Whether or not they are effective leaders is another question.

A CIO’s leadership philosophy should have three components: motivating staff, guiding the organization to common goals and decision-making.

  • Motivation – Motivating your staff is an important component of leadership because it challenges your staff to expand their comfort zones and achieve goals. CIOs must motivate different people differently. This requires the CIO to know his/her people and organizational culture intimately.
  • Guidance – Guidance is the combination of setting goals and charting the roadmap to achieve those goals. Remember, “You cannot get there, if you do not know where there is.” Setting a proper course and knowing how to get there is an important component of any leadership thinking.
  • Decision-making – As CIO you are expected you to make decisions each and every day. There are no perfect decisions. There will be times when you will make wrong decisions. Learn from your decisions.
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2 thoughts on “A CIO’s Leadership Philosophy

  1. A quick thought on motivation–this is an area where too few leaders (CIOs and others) really focus. I am a firm believer in MBWA (Management By Walking Around) which really allows you to get to know people and the organization. While an open door policy is good, it requires people (who may not be comfortable with interacting with “the boss”) to come to you. MBWA puts you in their territory, on their terms, which can make them more comfortable. Getting to know people requires work–but the rewards can be great, both personal and professional.

  2. Nicely put Arun, I will add one element in the philosophy that is my guiding principle as a CIO: Put the right people in the bus, and at the right seat. Just focusing on having the right people in your team and well fitting their responsibility, make extensive control and communication just not necessary.

    I will recommend this principle to any leader seating in the C-Suite.

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