CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 50

I am passionate about leadership,

that the team is of paramount

and I wholeheartedly agree with

importance and modeling the values

management guru John Maxwell,

that benefit the team.

who contends that leadership is not

And that's where I see the most

an exclusive club reserved for those

value in preaching what I practice

who were "born with it." Combine

- at the ground levels of the

desire with skills that can be

organization. Whether it's a two-

acquired, and anyone can evolve into

day coaching session or a workshop

a leader. "Leadership is developed,"

involving a half-dozen people over

Maxwell says, "not discovered."

several weeks, I think I can offer

But how do you develop yourself

something useful to that top 10 to 15

into an effective leader? There has

percent of IT professionals who are

never been an easy answer to that

passionate about becoming

question. And in today's nearly

effective leaders.

constantly changing business
environment, managing and

Gaining Perspective

inspiring a team is an even greater
challenge.
I have developed my own

After I got my master's degree, I
began working for an IT leader

leadership skills on the job, and I

who founded his own technology

have the battle scars that go along

company. I was a little confused by

with them. But I don't believe that

some of his leadership tactics in the

leaders have to be forged by fire.

beginning. He would ask me about

That's why I dedicate a significant

a new technology or my opinion

amount of my time to coaching others

about a project or my thoughts about

who, like me, possess technical

a certain approach. I was fresh out

expertise but have a desire for more

of school and full of enthusiasm

responsibility.

and opinions, which I offered in

I had the great fortune of learning

abundance. But when he would take

from excellent leaders, managers, and

an approach that was completely

mentors. And it's the lessons they've

different from the one I had

taught me that I'm eager to share with

suggested, I was baffled. I wondered

others - and not simply those already

why he even asked for my input.

in the technology management ranks.

It was only once I left that company

CIOs and CTOs like me tend to be a

and went on to work in larger firms

bit set in our ways. It's four or five

that I realized the value in his

levels down from that where you'll

approach, as I found myself in need

find the individuals who are hungry

of input from my team. The first time

to learn and make a difference.

I made a decision that was different

They're the real influencers.

from what someone had suggested to

They're the true change agents.

me, I finally understood why he did

Organizational hierarchies and titles

what he did. It wasn't that he didn't

are not what's important to being an

value my thoughts. Quite the contrary

effective leader; rather, it's believing

- he benefitted from the different

CIO Straight Talk | 50

CIOs and CTOs
like me tend to be a
bit set in our ways.
It's four or five levels
down from that
where you'll find the
individuals who are
hungry to learn and
make a difference.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6

Contents
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - Cover1
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - Contents
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 3
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 4
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 5
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 6
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CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - InsertA
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CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - InsertB
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CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - Cover3
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