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11/19/2013
09:06 AM
Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy
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13 CIOs Share: My Big Mistakes

From tackling personnel problems quickly to not chasing tech fads, 13 CIO innovators share lessons learned the hard way.
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Paul_Travis
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Paul_Travis,
User Rank: Author
11/19/2013 | 9:43:17 AM
Great Advice
Some really good advice for work and life in this slideshow. The best I ever got was from my first boss: Never Assume -- Because you make an A$$ out of U and ME. What was the best advice you ever got?
Alison Diana
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Alison Diana,
User Rank: Moderator
11/19/2013 | 9:50:53 AM
Goodbye
When speaking to solution provider CEOs, CIOs, and presidents, one good piece of advice they'll tell me is to fire bad customers fast. Sure, landing a big contract is exciting. But if it's outside your experience; the client is impossible to work with, or the goal post is constantly moving, you'll never meet expectations and that means you can't concentrate on those clients whose work you can do. At the end of the day, you'll have several dissatisfied customers. And that's not good for anyone. 
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
11/19/2013 | 9:51:31 AM
Re: Great Advice
...that every setback, even the biggest ones, can be an opportunity to do things differently next time. It's more than "learn from your mistakes." Setbacks are opportunities to change your thinking, organizational structure, practices. The end of one world can be the beginning of another. Sounds like management-speak, but it's the best advice I ever got. 
Jamescon
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Jamescon,
User Rank: Moderator
11/19/2013 | 10:19:23 AM
Early in my career
Great observation about how often CIOs (let's face it, every manager) preface lessons learned with "early in my career". I've heard it time after time. Of course, in speaking with CIOs it's apparent that not everyone made their mistakes early in their career; every new CIO ends up fixing the mistakes that their predecessors made "late in their career".

Thanks for sharing these lessons.
Sara Peters
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Sara Peters,
User Rank: Ninja
11/19/2013 | 10:20:52 AM
tricky one
"The timeframe was too tight -- but rather than risk the deal, I signed up for commitments that couldn't be delivered on."  I think that's an all-too-common conundrum, and one that can only be avoided if you're confident enough to say "no" or "no, we can't do that, but we can do this."


Of course it's a lot harder to avoid that problem if the people making those commitments are not the people who have to deliver them.


 
virsingh211
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virsingh211,
User Rank: Strategist
11/19/2013 | 10:43:09 AM
Re: tricky one
Most of the CIO come from technical background so, which makes them analyze alltogether with tech view, one thing which makes me confused is on what parameters CIO structures IT deptt,
J_Brandt
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J_Brandt,
User Rank: Ninja
11/19/2013 | 11:55:24 AM
Beyond the Tech
Good reading.  I love the "Don't chase tech."  CIOs, especially those from the technical side of things have to realize that the CIO has to keep in balance the big three - people, process and technology – the last and least of which is usually the technology.
William Terdoslavich
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William Terdoslavich,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/19/2013 | 12:55:32 PM
Re: Beyond the Tech
Success is specific, but failure is usually dismissed as a generality. The sum of these lessons is that failure is generic, probably par for the course. While these 13 CIOs emerged chastened and wiser, one can't help but wonder how many executives are making the same mistakes right now. 

Good judgment comes from experience. And experience comes from bad judgment. 
OtherJimDonahue
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OtherJimDonahue,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/19/2013 | 1:28:38 PM
Learn from mistakes
I've edited these CIO Profiles for IW for many years. And I have to say, how CIOs answered that question seemed to give the most insight into their work philosphies.

And those who refused to answer that question were quite revealing in skipping it!
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
11/19/2013 | 2:53:52 PM
Re: Great Advice
I think a good one here is "know what gives you energy." You can go through the motions of work every day, but unless you love what you do, you're not doing your best work.
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