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8 Top Skills of the Best CIOs and Business Technology Leaders

Some say that leaders in the technology sector need to be chameleons, able to change with their environment, but they would probably be better off as octopuses. They can blend in too, but with the benefit of many extra arms! In an article for CIO UK, Arif Harbott explores eight skills a technology leader needs to possess in order to make an impact:

  1. Foremost, be a business leader
  2. See and experience
  3. Take responsibility
  4. Be bold
  5. Deliver value
  6. Set unreasonable aspirations
  7. Understand yourself
  8. Be customer-focused

The Octo-Boss

As Harbott notes, CIOs should think of themselves as a “business leader who happens to specialise in digital and technology.” Hence, they need to understand the basics of the business, like finance and HR. Additionally, technology leaders need to understand how to convey their technical messages to other leaders who are unfamiliar with the jargon. If you want to truly know what is happening, get out into the office and experience it. Seeing for yourself is far more beneficial than learning about things in a meeting.

If you are the leader, you need to take responsibility for the work you oversee. Admit your failures, and develop from the wrongdoings. The leaders who make the biggest impact are those who are bold. Invest in what you believe in, and take risks that you have faith in. Basically, believe in yourself enough to follow your instincts. Likewise, aspirations should be somewhat unreasonable. Challenging aspirations are what push the business into new, more successful territory. Believe in your team the same as you believe in yourself and set your aims high!

Value is realized once you have actually delivered it, and not a second sooner. It is important to continually deliver value at pace so that you and your team develop credibility. The focus should be on continuous progress.

One sometimes unspoken aspect of great leadership is that for a leader to be most effective, they need to be able to articulate their style to their team. That means you need to understand yourself and actually know what your style is. Being open with who you are creates authenticity, which helps the team be more successful.

Lastly, you need to spend time with the customer so that you understand their expectations. This is not a difficult task, but it does require for you to actually make the effort of communicating with them. This connects back to the tip about getting up and walking around!

You can read the original article here:

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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