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Top CIOs All Share These 10 Traits

Chief Information Officers, despite all their quirky and individualized behaviors, will always share the common ilk of IT manager-dom. Based on an interview with Dan Roberts and Brian Watson, authors of Confessions of a Successful CIO, Dan Muse of discovers that there are at least ten natural traits and tendencies that bring these prodigious IT leaders together.

1, 2. Risk Taking & Confidence: The two go hand-in-hand. If and when bold action is called for, the effective CIO rises to the challenge with the confidence of their abilities behind every decision, risk or no risk.

3, 4. Decision Making & People Prioritization: Those who lead are always in a special position to affect the lives of others with their decisions. In the case of IT, this can present itself as an opportunity to inspire and motivate, but can also devolve into an exercise of ‘people engineering.’

5. Getting Results: When it comes to ‘getting it done,’ the CIO always has the option of entertaining radical thinking and high falutin' agendas. But when it comes down to protecting their business, they will always seek concrete results on the ground first, and build to higher goals second.

6, 7. Innovation & Transformation: CIOs work with their feet on the ground, but far from hunkering down in day-to-day operations, they also think with their head in the clouds, constantly seeking innovative solutions to forge new and transformational paths for the business through IT.

8, 9. Self-Effacement & Forward Thinking: Most every good CIO knows how to learn from past mistakes and prior success. Making the most of every move is their mantra. All this strategy and reflection gets aimed at the future, laying the groundwork for tomorrow’s footwork regardless of today’s missteps.

10. Networking: Lastly, the power of people does not escape the savvy CIO. Spinning a veritable web of contacts and connections is just one more trait that all CIOs share in common.

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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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