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Jun 29, 2011

7 Skills That Help Managers Achieve Better Results

What makes a CIO not only an effective manager, but also an effective leader? We offer the following observations based on a three-year study of Korn / Ferry and Gartner.

The authors of the new book ‘The CIO Edge: Seven Leadership Skills You Need to Drive Results’ support the thesis that leadership skills and personal skills connected to communication of CIOs are the biggest factor of success or failure. The book, written by Graham Waller, George Hallenback and Karen Rubenstrunk does not underestimate the fact that IT managers need to be productive at operational level too in order to maintain the informational security of the company even when they have to work  with tight budgets.

The most successful CIO, however, manages to build strong relationships with his or her employees as well as with his/hers business and external partners. "CIOs understand the need to manage IT processes to achieve results and meet business expectations. They also recognize the need to manage people to achieve these results, notes Waller.”What most people do not understand is how incredibly important the link between the two is," says he.

The findings in the book are based on a three-year study during which the authors identified seven models of behavior and important qualities that are fundamental to the success of a CIO. They are:

1. Be leaders and leave everything else in the second place

According to the survey, best CIOs are effective because they realize that everything you need to accomplish the goals of the company will be achieved through the staff or with their help. With this idea, they can guide their teams in a better way.

2. Have a personalized attitude to management

A successful CIO is a creative thinker. However, when the time comes to make an important decision, he/she does not rely on the qualities with which he/she outperforms the others, he/she works with them to make the decision. A good CIO works in team with his/her subordinates.

3. Show your weaknesses

An effective IT director can skillfully handle the paradox to gain more influence by exercising less control and showing his/her weaknesses from time to time. This allows him/her to create a deep and genuine relationship that enables him/her to inspire people inside and outside of the organization.

4. Create good relations to achieve good results

This skill is no surprise to anyone. The best CIOs spend most of their time in maintaining relationships that are built - with colleagues, external suppliers and customers. They purposefully invest in this direction to achieve their goals.

5. Master communication

Successful CIOs know that their employees are constantly watching them. These managers realize that they are always on stage and take advantage of this situation by constantly promoting key messages and values. Their focus on clarity, consistency, authenticity and commitment ensures that their message is not only understood but felt. They want to create an atmosphere that helps employees be more productive.

6. Inspire others

Most people would work harder if they are promised that they will be paid more. However, they will give the best of themselves if they believe they are part of something big. The best CIOs connect employees to the success of the company on the market and show them that their contribution is significant and valuable.

7. Build people, not systems

By helping employees grow, CIOs achieve better results. Every successful project relies on a team of people who have worked dedicatedly for its realization.

Interpersonal and leadership qualities, of course, cannot replace the management and operational requirements in the work of a CIO. However, they can motivate employees and increase their productivity, which will lead to better IT results. All CIOs must achieve goals.

The factor that distinguishes the best from the others is how they achieve these goals. This can be done in two different ways. The first way is to rely on the subordinates for everything. A CIO can also use the help of his/her employees to aid his/her own work. The most effective way to work, however, is to treat the subordinates like equals and show them how important they are. This way everyone will contribute to the project in the best way and the results will be a lot better.

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