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Three Big Cs of CIO Longevity

For a CIO, what is it like to be in a long-term relationship (with a business)? That’s what Computerworld’s Howard Baldwin wanted to know. Turns out, it probably boils down to just three key traits that sound an awful lot like the virtues of a life-long marriage. Who knows, maybe CIOs who stick it out with businesses make great spouses too.

No. 1: Consistency

Like the married couple who “grays” together for many years, when you stick with a company long enough, you r-e-e-ally get to know that company. You know its idiosyncrasies, its ins and outs, like the back of your hand as the cliché goes. The result is that you don’t need to put any excess thought into choosing the right technologies. Your decisions become fluid and natural and most importantly, you develop a style that is consistent with the needs of the business. In other words, you start finishing each other’s sentences in what amounts to a conservation of time and money. Basically, you become efficient.

No. 2: Curiosity

In partnerships that last a lifetime, there’s always something new to learn about your significant other. Apparently, the same is true for a company. CIOs who stick around usually find that they are always discovering something novel that will add depth to their relationship with the business. This gives the CIO motivation to keep growing and to stay committed to company objectives. It cultivates an attitude that says: There’s always room for improvement.

No. 3: Communication

It’s often said that trust is not given, but rather earned. That adage certainly comes to mind for the CIO who becomes a regular fixture at his or her post. The other people who comprise an organization feel more comfortable with a boss and/or employee who is in the loop and transparent in all undertakings. As any seasoned couple will tell you, communication works both ways. You have to relate and listen equally. In the case of professional environments, that means accomplishing goals through the advice of others at least half the time.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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