November 7, 2017

IT Leadership Recap: Do You REALLY Have What It Takes to Be a CIO?

Nik -macmillan -280300“Who was the leader in the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory?” Richard Walker, CEO of York Solutions asked the IT Leadership group this question during last Friday’s meeting. A few hands shot up with an answer right away. Charlie, the main character and child in this movie, was defined as the leader. What made him a great leader was that when he made mistakes, he fixed them. He took something that went wrong, and made it right.

Fixing mistakes and making things right are only a couple of characteristics of good leaders. Leadership can be defined in many ways; but, overall, leadership is leading a group of people with a clear vision in mind. It was noted during our discussion that a good leader will be followed and encompasses characteristics such as empathy, dominance, self-awareness, and the ability to collaborate, just to name a few.

These characteristics can carry over into what makes a good CIO. To become a CIO, is it more important to have business acumen or technology acumen? Although a clear answer wasn’t defined, we had a great discussion surrounding this question. Take a look at the CIO agenda listed below. It’s evident that to be a successful CIO, you must have some sort of a technology background, along with business proficiencies, in order to successfully accomplish these tasks.

As stated in the slides, a CIO’s agenda involves responsibilities such as:

  • Running the business of IT
  • Information security
  • Data management & analytics
  • Operating efficiently
  • Digital transformation
  • Customer engagement


To be a successful CIO, you need to recognize where your weaknesses lie, and build a team with people that excel in those areas, whether that be on the technical or business side of things. And, if you share the right information with the right people, at the right time, you will continue to be successful.

Overall, it’s fair to say that top leaders are followed because of who they are. Not because they have all the technological background in the world or business acumen, but because they value the people around them. Successful leaders give their team the opportunity to succeed and continue to maintain a strong relationship with those individuals. That is what makes all the difference.

What is the most important trait to be a successful CIO? 


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Posted by: Anna Wischmann

Tags:  IT Leadership Group, CIO, CIO Skills

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