10 Things That CIOs Should Never Do

CIOs Should Never Do

1-Mix Up Your Mix Up Your “I” and “We”

Use “we” when IT has done something great. Use “I” when it’s time to shoulder the blame.

2-Expect Your Employees to Work Your HoursExpect 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.

3-Describe a Grunt Assignment as 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.

4-Betray Anything Told You in ConfidenceBetray 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.

5-Hint That You Make Lots of MoneyHint 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.

6-Make Any Remark or Gesture About an Employee’s AppearanceMake 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.

7-Dismiss a Complaint With 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.

8-Belittle Organization Leadership Decisions as 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.

9-Unload on a Subordinate About Your Personal ProblemsUnload 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.

10-Demand Better Performance Without Defining What You WantDemand 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.

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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