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11 Traits of Successful IT Leaders

 
 
By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 08-07-2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    They're Fueled by Passion
    Next

    They're Fueled by Passion

    Tech professionals are driven by the intrinsic worth of the work, and expect the same from their bosses.
  • Previous
    They Allow Time for Ideas to Gain Momentum
    Next

    They Allow Time for Ideas to Gain Momentum

    Your employees are thoughtful and analytical. Give proposals time to breathe before seeking buy-in, so your staffers can pursue their own research and assessment.
  • Previous
    They Encourage Calculated Risk-Taking
    Next

    They Encourage Calculated Risk-Taking

    They don't let a fear of failure keep employees from pushing the possibilities of a project, but they know when it's time to reign them in.
  • Previous
    They Thrive Upon Collaboration
    Next

    They Thrive Upon Collaboration

    This includes strategic-focused interactions within tech, and with executives and teams from other departments.
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    They Understand Users and Stakeholders
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    They Understand Users and Stakeholders

    Because they can "see" technology practices and purposes from the perspective of users and other stakeholders, they help tech staffers grasp what it's like to "walk in their shoes."
  • Previous
    They Welcome Debate—Even Dissent
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    They Welcome Debate—Even Dissent

    Because that's how original, disruptive ideas are often generated, in an open and free wheeling environment.
  • Previous
    They Enjoy Dealing With Offbeat People
    Next

    They Enjoy Dealing With Offbeat People

    Face it: IT workers aren't "normal." So a good CIO will embrace their various assortments of quirks as endearing.
  • Previous
    They Model Best Practices
    Next

    They Model Best Practices

    If they issue directives for appropriate Internet and computer use in the interest of cybersecurity, for example, they follow each guideline to the letter.
  • Previous
    They're Highly Active on Social Media
    Next

    They're Highly Active on Social Media

    Because social media elevates your presence as an industry authority, and you can use it to promote the accomplishments of your teams.
  • Previous
    They Never Lose Sight of the Big Picture
    Next

    They Never Lose Sight of the Big Picture

    Strong CIOs constantly communicate how day-to-day tech duties and projects are supporting long-term organizational strategies.
  • Previous
    They Are Genuinely Humbled by Their Employees
    Next

    They Are Genuinely Humbled by Their Employees

    They acknowledge and appreciate the wealth of tech wisdom that tech professionals bring to the table, instead of envying or resenting it.
 

CIOs arguably sit on an organization's hottest seat: Every user and stakeholder depends upon daily access to productivity-boosting IT tools. And the C-suite looks to you as the authority on new solutions which will advance business goals. Meanwhile, you must not only impart a sense of tech expertise, you have to understand IT professionals as well. With this in mind, we're presenting this list of must-have traits of tech leaders. It was adopted from various online resources, including those from California State University, Sacramento and California Southern University. While those two reports bring an academic focus to the topic, the takeaways are readily adaptable for any CIO. Not surprisingly, many of these takeaways are more about your personal style than your command of tech topics. "The best leaders I know have something in them that makes other people believe there is a light at the end of whatever tunnel they face," writes tech strategist Dani Babb, in the California Southern University posting, "because they truly believe it themselves and look for the positive in lots of situations … They likened leadership to partnering: first you find a great fit, and then you take the bad with the good." For more about the Cal Southern advice, click here. For more about the Cal State Sacramento best practices, click here.

 
 
 
 
 
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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