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3 Types of IT leaders: maverick, innovator, guarantor

Ever wonder why it is so important to understand and know what kind of IT leaders work for you?   Well, according to the author of this article, Dr. Jonathan Reichental, understanding why an IT leader operates a certain way can net better results for everyone.   Dr. Reichental classifies IT leaders into three vastly condensed categorizations, the maverick, the diligent innovator, and the rock-steady guarantor.   The following is a description of what he considers the maverick: This IT leader works for an organization that thrives on taking risks. You're likely to see lower levels of vendor standardization; this IT leader likes to try lots of different products and the organization's broad portfolio of hardware and software reflects that.   The maverick IT leader is likely to have a higher level of comfort with open source and with quickly adopting less mature technologies. The background of this IT leader is likely technology-based and he/she has extensive IT knowledge.    The environment requires this person to move fast. Sitting on long, protracted RFP submission proposals, for example, will not go over well, nor likely be a common approach. Speed and agility are popular qualities with this IT leader, but there is a trade-off with standardization, repeatable processes, and predictability. Often this person succeeds with the sheer brute force of determination. But this benefit can often come at a price. The article goes on to provide descriptions of the other two categories, as well as some advice for working with each type of leader.   Dr. Reichental goes on to state that he expects most IT leaders to have styles that overlap among all three categories, but that it is also highly likely that the predominant characteristics live in one of them.  

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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