8 Secret Habits Of Successful CIOs - InformationWeek
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2/24/2016
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Jessica Davis
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8 Secret Habits Of Successful CIOs

CIOs today must keep the lights on, but also transform the business to meet the demands of real-time customer requirements. How do they stay productive? How do they find the right people to hire? What traits do they nurture? What secrets keep them ahead of the game? We've collected the top secret habits of successful CIOs here.
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(Image: abluecup/iStockphoto)

(Image: abluecup/iStockphoto)

Do you consider yourself successful in the role of CIO? The definition of success for CIOs has probably changed as much as the job description has changed over the last few years. Yet some CIOs seem to be navigating the changes and even thriving in a new environment.

Today's most successful CIOs must lead two distinct efforts. They must "keep the lights on" with their existing infrastructure and serve their user bases with ever-tightening IT budgets. At the same time they must pivot to serve a new fundamental need as technology becomes an underpinning to all the services their organizations provide to customers.

Leon Kappelman, professor of Information Systems at the University of North Texas's College of Business and the lead for an annual CIO trends study for the Society for Information Management, believes that this new environment will bring new faces to the role of CIO.

"I think we may be at a watershed moment, and five years from now perhaps half of the current batch of CIOs will be CIOs," Kappelman told InformationWeek. That's a gigantic change at the top for IT organizations.

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This changing of the guard at the top will be driven by the transformation in the industry, generational factors, and a requirement for new skill sets. Today's CIOs and aspiring CIOs must take a hard look at their own competencies and habits as they gear up to lead tomorrow's organizations.

These topics and more will be discussed during the IT Leadership Track at Interop 2016, May 2-6, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. (Full disclosure: Interop is produced by UBM Americas, InformationWeek's parent company.)

InformationWeek regularly speaks with successful CIOs and IT executives about projects, strategy, and vision. We're always looking out for the secrets that others can use to help drive results within their own organizations. Which habits help CIOs achieve success? 

Once you've reviewed our list, tell us how many of these habits you've incorporated into your work. If you have a habit that has helped you achieve success in your own IT leadership role, please share it with us all in the comments section below.

Jessica Davis has spent a career covering the intersection of business and technology at titles including IDG's Infoworld, Ziff Davis Enterprise's eWeek and Channel Insider, and Penton Technology's MSPmentor. She's passionate about the practical use of business intelligence, ... View Full Bio

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jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
2/29/2016 | 1:15:52 PM
Re: Watching TV and Playing Video Games?
A lot of these success tips really focus on relationships. Build positive relationships with staff, stakeholders, peers, vendors and others that are necessary for operational and strategic success. Even if the CIO isn't an extrovert, he or she needs to work at bulding positive relationships in order to have sustained success. A great relationship also makes it easier to deal with difficult issues.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
2/29/2016 | 1:14:19 PM
Re: Hiring the right employees.
Hiring the right people is absolutely critical. For my money, this is probably the most important aspect to being successful. A leader is only as successful as those she or he is leading. Hiring the right people also reduces a lot of annoying and wasteful distractions from my day.
SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
2/28/2016 | 2:24:06 PM
Re: A CIO stays focused
@yalanand: I agree that CIOs don't have to listen to employee woes, but indeed they are listening. The man who was your CIO, I wish we had such a CIO. 
SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
2/28/2016 | 2:22:13 PM
Re: Watching TV and Playing Video Games?
@Shamika: CIOs have stress because they deal with the bad management and employees that the CEO doesn't have to deal with. You can say the CIO is actually an idea filter. He takes the best from the sludge and presents the ideas to higher up. That is why their life is so stressful.
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
2/28/2016 | 5:02:53 AM
Re: Watching TV and Playing Video Games?
Do you think it's important to have a work life balance for a CIO to be successful? The CIO's I have seen are more workaholic and they spend little time with their families and friends.
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
2/28/2016 | 4:58:25 AM
Hiring the right employees.
Well I think in my view the CIO should give the responsibility to his senior management team to select the right employees. This will empower his employees more.
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
2/28/2016 | 4:57:46 AM
Start Your Day Early
I think this is valid for everyone. It is very easy to plan your day when you start the early.
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
2/28/2016 | 4:53:48 AM
Re: Watching TV and Playing Video Games?
@yal I agree. However even thought they are workaholic sometimes they are poor in building relationships.
yalanand
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yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
2/25/2016 | 2:05:27 PM
Re: Watching TV and Playing Video Games?
I'm sure most of the CIOs know when to work hard and when to play hard. Although most of the CIOs I've met are workaholics. They always have to work.
yalanand
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yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
2/25/2016 | 1:53:47 PM
A CIO stays focused
A CIO doesn't have to follow any of these, because these aren't hard and fast rules. I have seen some extremely successful CIOs staying completely free from such things and still coming out on top, voted by his employees as the best boss. The reason is you only have to have one thing, unbreakable focus and that focus would drive you to become a leader. A successful CIO may stay aloof of the employees woes, but he'll never turn a deaf ear to it, he will solve their problems even without interacting much. My favorite boss was a mysterious man whose personal life he never used to discuss, but in all our lives solutions we used to find his hand. He was an amazing person.
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