Leadership is not about controlling and being on the top of the corporate ladder. It is a role to initiate and enable continuous growth of people working with you. Dr. Jim Anderson, in this the Accidental Successful CIO article, narrates what Sir Richard Branson thinks about genuine leadership.
Leveraging the Leadership Role
While management is easy, CIOs must be leaders, and efficient ones. Not dictating tasks but learning from employees about their interactions with customers is your ladder to be a successful commander. Following are the 3 traits that Branson thinks are steps to genuine leadership:
Better Listener: The top performers feel involved when you listen to their ideas. So, to perfect the role, all you have to do is listen to what your employees think. They are closer to the projects than you can ever be. They know the problems, areas of improvement, opportunities, etc. more than you. Gather their insights, feel the pulse of the market, and learn from others’ failures.
Failure Is Opportunity to Learn: CIOs must strive to scale existing capabilities and head initiatives. Trying out something new can lead to several failures and you must be comfortable with that. People should consider failure as an opportunity to learn and find another route sans the past mistakes. Moreover, mistakes are genuine lessons that nobody can give you.
Employees First: While the majority of the leaders would prefer doting on their valued customers, they should look after their employees more. Branson remarks, “If you take care of your employees, your employees will take care of your customers, and your customers will take care of your shareholders.” IT leadership should make employees feel a sense of ownership for the company’s well-being. The more devoted they are, the more aligned their work efficiency is with the strategic goals.
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