10 Things That CIOs Should Never Do

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 09-13-2013 Email Print this article Print

As the saying goes: When you're hired as the big boss, there are a hundred ways to screw it up. If you figure out half of them, you're a genius. So allow the following list of "things that a CIO should avoid doing" as a starter kit of sorts. Failing to pay heed could result in serious fallout down the road—such as performance and productivity declines due to employee disengagement. One-third of workers, in fact, are dissatisfied with their relationship with their boss, research shows. Nearly two in five say their manager is uncaring when it comes to their career development; nearly half say their boss has taken credit for their work; and more than one-third say their boss has "thrown them under the bus" to save himself. Clearly, on both a professional and personal level, you don't want to gain a reputation as being that guy. So it's good to know about the following actions to put on your "to don't" list. They were compiled from business and management advice from online resources such as OneMinuteBlog.com, CEO.com and Encore, a U.K-based recruitment company specializing in engineering and tech jobs.

  • Mix Up Your "I" and "We"

    Use "we" when IT has done something great. Use "I" when it's time to shoulder the blame.
    1-Mix Up Your
  • Expect Your Employees to Work Your Hours

    The 21st century is about what you accomplish—not face time for the sake of face time. If employees get results, be flexible about their schedules.
    2-Expect Your Employees to Work Your Hours
  • Describe a Grunt Assignment as "a Great Opportunity"

    You need to respect your tech employees' intelligence more than that. They'll see through the smoke and mirrors.
    3-Describe a Grunt Assignment as
  • Betray Anything Told You in Confidence

    When you respect this confidence, you build trust with the worker in question. When you don't, you shatter it.
    4-Betray Anything Told You in Confidence
  • Hint That You Make Lots of Money

    Even "my new Benz is in the shop …" is unnecessary; it’s a passive-aggressive way to flaunt your hefty compensation.
    5-Hint That You Make Lots of Money
  • Make Any Remark or Gesture About an Employee’s Appearance

    Yes, even a "nice" remark could be interpreted as sexual harassment. And only horrible bosses would go the "not nice" route.
    6-Make Any Remark or Gesture About an Employee’s Appearance
  • Dismiss a Complaint With "You Should be Lucky to Have a Job!"

    This will lead to immediate disengagement, as employees view such remarks as a catch-all, Dickensian brush-off.
    7-Dismiss a Complaint With
  • Belittle Organization Leadership Decisions as "Stupid"

    You're not going to like everything the C-Suite comes up with. But once decisions are made, you must voice support and make them work.
    8-Belittle Organization Leadership Decisions as
  • Unload on a Subordinate About Your Personal Problems

    Employees have some latitude to share personal "stuff" with bosses. But good bosses maintain a higher sense of discretion.
    9-Unload on a Subordinate About Your Personal Problems
  • Demand Better Performance Without Defining What You Want

    Don't issue fuzzy “shape up or ship out” decrees. Map out goals, with timelines, along with a sense of how the employee can get there.
    10-Demand Better Performance Without Defining What You Want
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.


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