A CIO's Top Priority: Make The Boss Look Good!! - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // CIO Insights & Innovation
Commentary
8/24/2007
05:30 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
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A CIO's Top Priority: Make The Boss Look Good!!

Call this approach strategic pragmatism or multidisciplinary synchronicity or old-fashioned brown-nosing, but there's lots of common sense in the suggestions offered by reader Danny C.

Call this approach strategic pragmatism or multidisciplinary synchronicity or old-fashioned brown-nosing, but there's lots of common sense in the suggestions offered by reader Danny C.Here are some samples from Danny C.'s list of what a CIO's top priorities should be:

-- "Get to know the boss... Determine what they expect, want, and need. Give them an eye-opening view of reality as to what items are, and are not, realistic. Educate them on the costs, benefits, and risks to each item, and get their "buy in" to proceed with or kill projects accordingly...."

-- "Always try and make your boss look good! Offer sound advice, never get emotional, and remember -- it's not personal, it's business..."

-- "Keep your boss apprised of progress and constantly touch base with your reports."

-- "Once you complete your projects, always remember to give credit where and when due..."

-- "If your boss expects kickbacks for letting you keep your job, just smile and pay up" -- JUST KIDDING!! I made that last one up.

Now, we could look at that list and say it's all obvious -- but I'll bet lots of CIOs don't do an outstanding job of understanding the boss's priorities and providing him/her with clear, business-driven updates. So behind the Norman Vincent Peale veneer lie some fundamental truths to revisit regularly.

Question: When's the last time you reviewed those key issues with your boss? If it was more than three months ago, are you looking for trouble?

Lest I give the impression Danny C. is auditioning to be a stand-in for Dr. Phil, he also offered these suggestions:

-- "Full Security Audit -- evaluate all processes, policies, contracts, and make certain that the infrastructure (all hardware and software) is safe, secure, and legit."

-- "Assess current IT staff -- make certain who you can rely on, and who to put on "no threat" tasks."

-- "Determine priorities and delegate, based on priorities in line with those of CEO..."

Thanks, Danny C., and we'll see if your peers feel you've given them great inspiration or whether you should concentrate on pursuing that Dr. Phil backup opportunity.

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