Leadership Slideshow: CIO Leadership Skills to Boost Your Career

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 01-10-2011

Commit to leadership first and everything else second.

It's people - as opposed to systems - who are primarily responsible for your department's success.

Commit to leadership first and everything else second.

A “leadership first” tip:

Evaluate how much time you spend reacting to events, as opposed to strategizing with your staff and other departments.

A “leadership first” tip:

Lead differently than you think.

Your instincts are to be creative. But a top CIO is as much a collaborator as a creative force.

Lead differently than you think.

Leading differently shouldnt make you feel uncomfortable

Your tech skills will never "go away" by focusing less on them. You'll only enhance what you have to offer by being well rounded.

Leading differently shouldnt make you feel uncomfortable

Embrace your softer side.

Paradoxically, you gain more influence by turning over more control to your staff. Take interest in their needs/goals to build trust.

Embrace your softer side.

A “softer” CIO still asks direct questions.

But it's the questions that have to do with "how?" and "why?" that stimulate dialogue with staff and provide deeper insight.

A “softer” CIO still asks direct questions.

Forge the right relationships to drive the needed results.

It's not simply about managing those under you, and responding to those above you. Consider carefully your "sideways" relationships - with peers, customers and external suppliers - as well.

Forge the right relationships to drive the needed results.

Master communications.

As CIO, you're always on stage. Communicate core messages with clarity, consistency, authenticity and passion.

Master communications.

Spot communication clues.

When you're speaking to a group, are participants constantly checking their mobile devices, glancing at a clock or otherwise failing to engage? If so, you need to examine why you're not connecting.

Spot communication clues.

Inspire others.

Your IT team members will only give their best if they believe they're involved in something greater than themselves.

Inspire others.

Inspire and embrace the office dissenter.

If the dissenter can constructively challenge your project along the way, consider this person an effective reality check.

Inspire and embrace the office dissenter.

Build people, not systems.

Developing the next generation of leaders may be your greatest legacy. You need to push people out of their comfort zone to challenge them - and even allow them to fail. But, take are not to push so far that any outcome from failure cannot be minimized.

Build people, not systems.