How to Go From CIO to CEO

How to Go From CIO to CEO

1-Lose the Cost-Center MindsetLose the Cost-Center Mindset

Think in terms of profit and loss now, not just cost. The latter is a functional way of thinking. The former is a strategic way of thinking.

2-Think BigThink Big

When you can speak insightfully about identifying—and deploying—key business growth drivers, you sound like a CEO.

3-Don't OD on AnalysisDon’t OD on Analysis

By the nature of the position, CIOs gravitate toward analysis. But under pressure, top-level company leaders must segue to a quicker, decisive style characterized by swift action.

4-Change Your Navigational DefaultChange Your Navigational Default

It’s natural for a CIO to constantly adapt to changing technologies, trends and such, but a CEO is paid to steer their organization, as opposed to simply adjusting to events.

5-Embrace AmbiguityEmbrace Ambiguity

Given the significance of technical standards in what you do, you’re wary of the uncertain. However, CEOs make big decisions based upon the unknown all the time.

6-Stay UpbeatStay Upbeat

CIOs are often designated to deliver the bad news. But CEOs are admired for their ability to energize the troops through their optimism.

7-Create Success StoriesCreate Success Stories

When you drive activity that makes other departments and individuals shine on key objectives, you gain a reputation as a difference-maker whose impact extends beyond “just tech.”

8-Show 'Em the MoneyShow ‘Em the Money

That’s right. The easiest way to shred that “supporting player” stigma is to demonstrate repeatedly how you expand ROI opportunities for your company.

9-Follow the MoneyFollow the Money

Study up on all organizational fiscals, so you can hold your own during discussions with the CFO. No one ascends to CEO status without a firm grasp of the organization’s financial house.

10-Get With the BoardGet With the Board

Find ways to engage board members—outside of formal presentations when an IT project is proposed.

Dennis McCafferty
Dennis McCafferty
Dennis McCafferty is a contributor to CIO Insight. He covers topics such as IT leadership, IT strategy, collaboration, and IT for businesses.

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