Leadership Slideshow: 10 Ways to Get Closer to the CEO

By Ericka Chickowski  |  Posted 03-17-2009

1.Make Yourself Bilingual

Effective CIOs should be tech savvy enough to speak geek. But fluency in business language is critical, too. Speaking to the CEO in his or her language builds trust.

1.Make Yourself Bilingual

2. Give Them Dashboards

Don't drown your CEO in log reports and reams of technical data. Distill data into concise formats that give an easy snapshot of the state of matters, including visuals if possible.

2. Give Them Dashboards

3. Cut Costs Without Being Asked

Being proactive in identifying efficiencies will make you popular in the corner office.

3. Cut Costs Without Being Asked

4. Expand Your Metrics

ROI and cost are critical, but they aren't the only useful measurements. When the C-suite initiates projects, ask upfront how they would determine success of the project. Measure accordingly, and report back frequently.

4. Expand Your Metrics

5. Tell It to Them Straight

Your CEO will appreciate it when you're honest about the cost of business decisions as they relate to IT investments.

5. Tell It to Them Straight

6. Listen. Really.

Pay attention to what the CEO and the line-of-business executives say they really need in order to make technology investments line up with business goals.

6. Listen. Really.

7. Make Yourself Visible

It is more important now than ever to communicate and interact with line-of-business leaders, and to find out how their strategies are changing with the latest developments.

7. Make Yourself Visible

8. Show, Don’t Tell

Show them you're a strategic asset to the team by establishing a big-picture plan that enables the business. Don't be afraid of a little self promotion by marketing those plans to the rest of the C-suite.

8. Show, Don’t Tell

9. Ask for Feedback

Ask how you can help your CEO achieve her goals and for feedback on how you're doing so far. Then act on the information.

9. Ask for Feedback

10. Establish a Culture of Support

Interactions between IT employees and line-of-business workers make their way up the gossip chain. Make sure employees are trained and culture is established to support business.

10. Establish a Culture of Support