A successful CIO isn’t staring at his shoes, and he isn’t afraid of stepping on any toes either. That’s the assumption Howard Baldwin makes in his article for Forbes.com. It’s a popular one these days. The general consensus in the blogosphere is to forget the popularity. It’s time for the CIO to embrace a take-no-prisoners, Machiavellian attitude.
The top ten highest paid CIOs, from companies such as FedEx and Procter and Gamble, all make over $2.7 million, and CEOs agree it’s worth paying this much because the cost of IT failure is much worse. A CIO who wants that level of success won’t worry about making friends, but will keep his eye on the end goal. Extremely large projects involve an extreme amount of personal risk, because the person leading the project can’t walk a safe middle ground. You can’t please everyone.
Consequently, Baldwin’s article is not entitled “It’s time for the CIO to worry about being nicer.” Instead, he calls for the CIO to be more assertive. What do you think? Do you disagree, or is the Machiavellian CIO here to stay?