CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 52

It's so important to push that kind of responsibility down
and trust that your team will deliver. It frees you up to focus
on the value you bring to the organization and helps them to
develop into effective leaders themselves.

Bottom-Up Management

not make the mistakes personally,

directors to meetings. But to me, that

but they happened on his watch. He

seemed like a waste. I told A.J., "If

As I progressed throughout my

agreed that he had not done a good

we're both going to these meetings,

career, I had managers who would

job addressing the issues and that it

something isn't right. We shouldn't be

approach me and ask me my opinions

was ultimately his responsibility. He

in the same conversation unless it is

about how they were performing.

needed my help to rectify them.

my performance review or a one-on-

Initially, I thought they were

Now that I am in a position of

one." He agreed. Now, we are rarely

asking me just to be polite. But as I

leadership, I make it clear that the

in the same room unless there is a

developed trusting relationships with

people on my team can approach me

true strategy call or update that we

them, I was more comfortable telling

to discuss any topic or criticism under

need to give jointly. It's so important

them what changes they might want

the sun. That doesn't guarantee that

to push the responsibility to the right

to consider.

I will agree with them. I am very

level and trust that the team will

comfortable with disagreement, and I

deliver. This frees the leader to focus

CTO that he should stop swearing. I

want them to be, as well. But I want to

on the unique value that you as a

explained that some people swear at

be able to have those uncomfortable

leader bring to the organization and

work to send the signal that they're

conversations without them having

helps others to develop into effective

the boss. "But you're already the

any fear of collateral damage, even if

leaders, too.

boss," I told him. "Why do you need

it's just to vent about something that's

to swear?" He looked at me and

bothering them.

I felt comfortable enough to tell one

said, "Nobody ever told me that." I
explained to him that some on my

Letting Go of the Reins

It was the desire to share lessons
like these that initially led me to
accept an offer from a colleague to
come and do a couple of sessions on
leadership with his team. Since then,

team had expressed concern about
his language. From that point on,

I've been directly reporting to my

I've done internal workshops - a

he was much more careful with his

current CIO, Andrew (A.J.) Lang,

day, half a day, sometimes multiple

words. And although it's been a

for more than seven years. He's been

meetings of several hours spread over

while since we've worked together,

a huge influence and has actually

a number of weeks - with groups

whenever I see him he'll tell me,

helped to mellow me out a bit. One

of, say, a half-dozen people. I've

"Prakash, I'm not swearing."

of the biggest leadership lessons I've

done this outside my organization,

I told a director with whom I

learned is one we arrived at together.

too, with vendors or partner

worked that I found myself having

Several years ago, I found that he

organizations. Sometimes I do one-

to fix a lot of messes that, while

and I were attending a lot of the same

on-one coaching. I've had contact

they went back a few years, were

meetings. Indeed, I saw several of

with more than 100 people through

ultimately his responsibility. He did

my peers bring their managers and

these sessions.

CIO Straight Talk | 52



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
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 7
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 8
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 9
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 10
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 11
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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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