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Findings from Latest Book "The CIO Edge Seven Leadership Skills You Need to Drive Results" Presented at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, October 17-21, in Orlando
Technology is the single most powerful enabling force available in business today, but as executives and boards of directors recognize its potential, CIOs must have the right leadership skills in place to deliver on heightened expectations, according to Gartner, Inc. and Korn/Ferry.
Analysts at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo today agreed that there has never been a more energizing time to be a CIO. However, the flip side to this is that today’s most successful CIOs must deliver exceptional results.
In the recently published book “The CIO Edge – Seven Leadership Skills You Need To Drive Results”, (Harvard Business Review Press November, 2010, $29.95), Graham Waller vice president and executive partner with Gartner Executive Programs; George Hallenbeck director, intellectual property development, for Korn/Ferry Leadership and Talent Consulting; and Karen Rubenstrunk, formerly with Korn/Ferry’s CIO practice, examine the key skills CIOs need and how to develop them. Mr. Waller highlighted key findings from the book at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, which is taking place here through October 21.
“CIOs understand they need to manage IT processes in order to deliver results and to meet key expectations. They also understand the need to lead people in order to deliver on those goals. However, what many don’t understand is the incredibly important interplay between the two,” said Mr. Waller. “Focusing on leadership and people skills - the ‘soft’ things that many CIOs tend to minimize in their quest to keep up with their day-to-day responsibilities of managing IT - is in fact the biggest determinate of their success, or failure.”
IT executives who have the best relationships and can earn ‘followership’, not only with their employees, but more importantly with their business partners within and outside the organization, tend to make the most effective business technology executives.
“During the course of our research, we observed the CIOs with the best people skills used these soft skills to influence expectations well ahead of when priorities were set or a project began,” Mr. Hallenbeck said. “Before a dime was budgeted, or staff time allocated, they were meeting with their colleagues and engaging in candid two-way conversations that defined what success would look like. Then they delivered against the expectations they helped set and as a result, the organization felt the investment of time and money in IT was worth it. Soft skills produced hard results.”
“The CIO Edge is dedicated to these seven leadership skills and their professional and personal payoff,” said Ms. Rubenstrunk. “Cynics might argue that CIOs who excel at soft skills might deliver soft results. However, a clear pattern from our interviews showed that the best CIOs, the ones who excel at people leadership, also set the most aggressive goals and hold their people accountable to the highest performance standards.”
Following three years of data-driven research, Mr. Waller, Mr. Hallenbeck and Ms. Rubenstrunk distilled their findings down to the behavioral patterns and key skills they believe to be the most critical to success. Specifically, high-performing CIOs distinguish themselves by mastering the following seven skills:
The three authors warned CIOs that mastering soft skills can never be a replacement for the key management aspects of the job. It is instead a powerful enabler and an amplifying force that allows individuals to exceed expectations and maximize the value from IT.
“All CIOs must deliver results. What distinguishes the best is how they do it: through people, by people, and with people,” Mr. Waller said.
Mr. Waller and Ms. Rubenstrunk will be at book signings at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo on Tuesday, October 19, from 10:45-11:45 a.m. ET, and Wednesday, October 20, from 4:30-5:00 p.m. ET at the Gartner Bookstore across from Symposium registration in the Dolphin Hotel.
Mr. Waller will also host a CIO workshop entitled “The CIO Edge – Seven Leadership Skills You Need to Drive Results” on Wednesday, October 20, at 8 a.m. ET. During the workshop Mr. Waller will provide more detailed analysis around the seven leadership skills that differentiate high-performing CIOs and show how these leadership skills, when combined with mature management practices, enable the delivery of superior results – by people, with people and through people.
Copies of the book “The CIO Edge – Seven Leadership Skills You Need to Drive Results” are available at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo at the Gartner Bookstore. Additional details are available at The CIO Edge website at www.gartner.com/cioedge. There are excerpts from the book, as well as The CIO Edge blog.
The book can also be purchased online at http://www.amazon.com/CIO-Edge-Leadership-Skills-Results/dp/1422166376/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1286926322&sr=1-1. It will also soon be available on the Korn/Ferry powered by Lominger store at www.store.lominger.com
About Gartner Symposium/ITxpo
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is the world's most important gathering of CIOs and senior IT executives. This event delivers independent and objective content with the authority and weight of the world's leading IT research and advisory organization, and provides access to the latest solutions from key technology providers. Gartner's annual Symposium/ITxpo events are key components of attendees' annual planning efforts. IT executives rely on Gartner Symposium/ITxpo to gain insight into how their organizations can use IT to address business challenges and improve operational efficiency. Additional information is available at www.gartner.com/symposium/us.
More exclusive content, expanding multi-media coverage, including Twitter feeds and comments from the Gartner Blog Network will be available at Gartner’s SymLive site at http://gartner.com/symlive.
Upcoming dates and locations for Gartner Symposium/ITxpo include:
October 17-21, Orlando, Florida: www.gartner.com/us/symposium
October 25-27, Tokyo, Japan: www.gartner.com/jp/symposium
November 8-11, Cannes, France:www.gartner.com/eu/symposium
November 16-18, Sydney, Australia:www.gartner.com/au/symposium
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About Korn/Ferry International
Korn/Ferry International, with a presence throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, is a premier global provider of talent management solutions. Based in Los Angeles, the firm delivers an array of solutions that help clients to attract, develop, retain and sustain their talent. Visit www.kornferry.com for more information on the Korn/Ferry International family of companies, and www.kornferryinstitute.com for thought leadership, intellectual property and research.
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