11 Books To Help CIOs Become Better Leaders - InformationWeek

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5/27/2016
07:06 AM

11 Books To Help CIOs Become Better Leaders

CIOs are expected to be experts in tech as well as business while leading diverse and complicated intiatives and teams. But they don't have to go it alone. Here are 11 books to help CIOs -- and aspiring CIOs -- get better at many of the critical facets of their complex jobs.
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Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together And Others Don't

A great team is a thing of beauty. A really great team can define a career. That's why Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't by Simon Sinek leads my list of books for the CIO. Sinek took a core lesson from a Marine Corps mess hall: Enlisted Marines are at the front of the line while officers take the rear. A leader, it seems, makes sure the team members are cared for before caring for his or her own needs.
If you go to agile and scrum gatherings you hear people talking about servant leadership. The ideas are similar: If you want to find the teams that work best, look for leaders who care more for the team than for their own career. It's a powerful lesson that this book brings home in interesting and compelling ways.

(Image: Amazon)

Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together And Others Don't

A great team is a thing of beauty. A really great team can define a career. That's why Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't by Simon Sinek leads my list of books for the CIO. Sinek took a core lesson from a Marine Corps mess hall: Enlisted Marines are at the front of the line while officers take the rear. A leader, it seems, makes sure the team members are cared for before caring for his or her own needs.

If you go to agile and scrum gatherings you hear people talking about servant leadership. The ideas are similar: If you want to find the teams that work best, look for leaders who care more for the team than for their own career. It's a powerful lesson that this book brings home in interesting and compelling ways.

(Image: Amazon)

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vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
5/27/2016 | 3:13:18 PM
That explains it..
We are upgrading from a Citrix XenApp to a XenDesktop environment and our CIO's has asked us to use "quick and nimble" in our "elevator language" when speaking to users.   So now we know what she's been reading in her spare time.  Now I get it.
Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
5/31/2016 | 12:31:21 AM
Re: That explains it..
@vnewman2, it's amazing just how often I hear quick, nimble, and agile used in corporate language. The problem most executives have is explaining, in succinct language, just what they mean when they use thos words. Maybe the best thing to do would be to assign one book to be read by the whole company just to make sure everyone is using the same language!
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
6/2/2016 | 8:33:59 PM
Re: That explains it..
Agree. The words sound catchy but my urge is always to get the person to describe what that "looks like."
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
6/2/2016 | 9:55:25 PM
Re: That explains it..
There is a whole slew of coporate buzz words and jargon that are just a corny and esoteric as pilot banter in a Monty Python episode! Execs throw these words around like everyone is expected to know what they mean when in fact they don't. It's a problem with language becoming more hackneyed.
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
6/3/2016 | 3:24:52 PM
Re: That explains it..
quicknimble, and agile 

good words to describe a gymnast!
MikeM28101
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MikeM28101,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/28/2016 | 10:02:50 AM
Effective Leadership Skills
Check out "Leadership through People Skills," by Robert E. Lefton, PhD and Victor R. Buzzotta, PhD.  And T81-5503:  Developing Leadership for Professionals at Washington University, St Louis.  This course is specifically taylored to STEM professionals.

See:  https://engineering.wustl.edu/prospective-students/Pages/Professional-Education.aspx
Curt Franklin
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50%
Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
5/31/2016 | 12:36:05 AM
Re: Effective Leadership Skills
@MikeM28101, thanks for the pointer -- I'll have to check that out!

Have you been through the course yourself? If so, what was your impression?
MikeM28101
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MikeM28101,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/31/2016 | 7:49:01 AM
Re: Effective Leadership Skills
@Curt Franklin,  Yes, I have been "through" the course.  I'm the teacher!

Most students say this course was the highlight of their graduate degree program.
Curt Franklin
50%
50%
Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
5/31/2016 | 9:29:55 AM
Re: Effective Leadership Skills
That's very cool, @MikeM! Since you teach the course, can you share a quick "elevator pitch" on the principles behind the class?

I think it's important to find a leadership framework that "clicks" with the individual: I learned from Richard Lazar and taught his ideas -- I always find it interesting to hear how others have figured out their own principals of leadership.
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