Feedback: 10 signs that you aren’t cut out to be a CIO

I sent the “10 signs that you aren’t cut out to be a CIO” post to some of my CIO friends and I received the following interesting feedback: 
A seasoned Fortune 100 CIO said:

I read the top ten list but haven’t read the whole article. I think the points are valid but thought the way the top ten things were phrased was not like a senior business executive would have stated them. But, that’s just a first impression.    

A very experienced Fortune 500 CIO remarked:

The blog and article are right on.     

and the following from a veteran former Deloitte partner:

Interesting perspective. I am not a CIO, and have always had an external perception of the role and the players. From that perspective, I have seen a host of CIO’s who contributed very little to the success of their companies in the 5 years they held the job prior to their termination. So, an internal perception of the CIO as “one in a million among IT professioals” is foreign to my perception, and probably to the perception of many C-level executives who hire and fire CIO’s. There are exceptions. My perception is that the exceptions did so because they were business-trained, and business-focused, and happened to fill a business role that included IT. If I were hiring a CIO, the last place I would look is at 25-year IT veterans. I would look for people who understand “business” then teach them the “business of IT.”      

and finally Jan, EPI-USE‘s CIO, made the following comment:

Thanks for sharing this Carel. One of the most profound standments regarding CIOs I heard in the last year were by Léo Apotheker, co-CEO of SAP, at last year’s Saphila conference. He said something like “The main focus of CIOs in future will not be technology, but optimising business processes”. Putting the focus back on the “I” in CIO!  

So, there you have it!

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10 Signs that you aren’t cut out to be a CIO

My friend, Matt Brown of CorData recently sent this article my way. Late in 2007 TechRepublic listed 10 things you should consider before applying for a CIO position. Here is the list of 10 signs:

  1. You are uncomfortable working with senior management
  2. The concepts of financial management totally elude you
  3. You have no desire to participate in business strategic planning
  4. Any kind of change drives you crazy
  5. You think SOX is a garment
  6. To you, asset management and building management are the same things
  7. The idea of selling anything scares you to death
  8. Indecision is one of your strong points
  9. You’re really skilled in one key area of information technology
  10. You believe that CIO stands for “career is over”

You can find the full article here, and I include the summary:

The job of CIO is complex on a good day. Only one in a million IT professionals can do the CIO job… and do it well. It is a job that requires a unique set of business skills as well as a strong understanding of IT technologies. However, the CIO is also in an exceptional position to have a major impact on the success of the company. So if you still think your want to become a CIO, you should be aware that you will gain membership to one of the most elite group of professionals on the planet.

I would be very interested to get feedback from my CIO friends.

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