What can help in driving more influence so that IT leaders can be more successful as leaders driving business change? What things, do you feel, have helped you become successful?

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Founder, Professor, and Author in Education, 11 - 50 employees
When I joined the city of Palo Alto and we had an opening in IT, we didn't get many respondents and I was always intrigued by that. I was like, "Well, that's interesting. Why aren't many people applying for a role?" It was partly because we were competing with the likes of Facebook and Google. But I had to figure it out because if I was going to build a team to have the success we were going to have to have lots of applicants to choose from and making sure that we had some really great people being interested in our roles. 

After a while, we were getting over a hundred, sometimes 200 applicants. So something had radically changed. Why was our department suddenly valuable? I think it really comes down to a couple of things. Number one is I was not shy in sharing with the world what we were about. What did we believe in? What ways would the role contribute towards a meaningful work and outcomes for lots of different people? So, communicating that vision outwardly, embedding it in the entire recruitment process really helped with bringing people into the city. I was able to build an amazing team who now is running the city. 

The characteristic there that I wanted to share is as an IT leader, people need to be real clear about what you believe in. Part of that is having a very well articulated vision. 

Now, if you come up with a vision and it's not in alignment with the business, you probably have the wrong job. You're in the wrong business. That's something to sort out when you actually take the job. Are you in alignment with where the organization's going and what it believes in? I'm assuming that to be correct, you as an IT leader have a significant role as we've already discussed in helping drive, not only the vision of what role IT has, but also driving overall change in the business. 

So I think that's something that you as a CIO or CTO need to focus on. What do you believe in, what's your vision, do you have the confidence to stand behind that?
Partner in Services (non-Government), 51 - 200 employees
I would agree.  Attracting talent requires a story... That coming to the organization will provide a challenge and an ability to work on something meaningful.  While not everyone will be immediately get assigned that meet their goals, the story of the organization driving to utilize more modern technologies and application models, and provide training in these technologies can go along way.

The organization, and especially the CIO has to work with the business leaders in establishing the priorities and helping them understand why old technologies may be an obstacle to achieving their missions, so they understand why some infrastructure and process change within the "business" of technology may needed their support.
Group Chief Information Officer in Construction, 5,001 - 10,000 employees
Showing the business values of IT, clarifying the value proposition of technology to the business
Showing the IT Contribution to the business success
You will never achieve that unless you align IT strategy with business strategy
CIO in Consumer Goods, 11 - 50 employees
IT should apply business lens and talk business. Having said that IT should circle back to self asking how well do we know our business and it’s challenges. Closer we are to business ground processes, better we solve them.
no title, Self-employed
I highly recommend two approaches to that can build trust and enthusiasm for the business of IT:
1. The first time I sat down with an exec and explained to her how I felt her team was hamstrung by current technology and offered a real world example of the problem and what could be done to fix it was an epiphany. The discussion was an epiphany for both myself and the exec. I had demonstrated that I understood her business and had taken the time to learn of the pain some of her team were experiencing. This understanding immediately put me in the position of trusted adviser and empathetic partner, which greatly enhanced our ability to work together. 
2. As mentioned in another response, the CIO needs to help bring visibility to the company and to successes in the IT group in an industry (public) forum.  Bringing positive attention to the company is almost always appreciated, especially by Sales & Marketing. The visibility and industry contribution also create something of a halo effect around the company and specifically the IT department, which then makes it easier to hire new talent. The positive feedback loops of better cooperation with Sales and Marketing along with an improved ability to deliver because of better talent can be an amazing advantage. 
Assistant Director IT Auditor in Education, 10,001+ employees
This is a very good question, in my experience is building relationships and trust with your staff and business partners, but Jack Welch eloquently and profoundly described the role of a leader in the video:


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