Three years of comprehensive data and interviews reveal that the best CIOs approach their role in a specific and predictable way.

Specifically, high-performing CIOs distinguish themselves by mastering the following seven skills:

Committing to being a leader first
Putting everything else second because they live the idea that everything they need to accomplish will be achieved through people, by people and with people.

Leading differently than they think
Not relying on their superior "smarts" and analytical skills to come up with the best possible solution—instead, acting collaboratively.

Embracing their softer side
Gaining more influence by letting go of control and allowing themselves to be vulnerable—creating deep, personal connections that provide the ability to inspire people both inside and outside their organization.

Forging the right relationships to drive the right results
Spending a greater percentage of their time and energy managing relationships that exist sideways: with internal peers, external suppliers, and customers.

Practicing communication mastery
Understanding that they are always on stage and taking advantage of it by constantly reiterating core messages and values, making sure their message is not only understood but felt.

Inspiring others
Making it clear how people are involved in a compelling cause bigger than themselves—creating an environment where the contributions of others are valued and recognized.

Building people, not systems
Developing people all around them, thereby increasing their capability and capacity to deliver results—and leaving behind the next generation of leaders.

 
[The authors] prove that the importance of well-honed leadership skills is just as important as technical skills—very often more so.
Marc J. Rosenberg
Management consultant,
Marc Rosenberg and Associates
and author, Beyond E-Learning