Every generation must deal with the challenges of a constantly changing world. Although many of the issues and dynamics we face may change over time, the one variable that remains constant is the need for quality leaders to help us navigate difficult and uncharted waters. There have been countless books written on the subject of leadership. I have read many of these books and learned a great deal from the experience. While all of them were valuable, no book written by another human being can capture an individual’s personal evolution as a leader. This book is meant to share my own journey to date in the hope that the lessons I have learned will be of value to other leaders. It is also written from the point of view of a CIO so that it can be of specific value to technology leaders. It is by no means meant to be the definitive tome on the topic of leadership. Many of the lessons contained within these pages are certainly reflected in other books on this topic.
What Is a CIO?
CIO is a term that means many things in various organizations. The idea of creating a position of chief information officer is about 25 years old. CIOs have historically been entrusted with operating the technology services and assets of modern organizations. However, today more than ever, the shift in focus is away from simply being a “utility provider” who keeps the lights on. The modern CIO has to be an evangelist, an innovator, a revenue producer, a consumer expert, and an executive relationship manager. These are skills that are not always naturally inborn into many IT executives who have grown up through the ranks of technology organizations. We will focus on the traits and talents that you must be able to incorporate into your portfolio if you hope to be a successful CIO in the year 2011 and beyond.
It’s Common Sense
Over the years, I have noticed that the teams who win on Sunday are not the teams with the best trick plays, but rather those who block and tackle the best. Much of what is contained in this book will seem like common sense, but as a wise man once told me, common sense is not that common! It is amazing how often we don’t leverage the lessons we’ve learned over time to improve our relationships and outcomes. This book is not intended to impress the reader with complex concepts. It is meant to help share the simple concepts that I have seen make a meaningful difference in leading successful teams.
The older I get, the more I realize that I will always be a student of leadership. I am not arrogant enough to believe that I am an expert or that I have all the answers. My desire is to continue to learn until my last day on this planet. I hope that readers will take away from my experiences some useful bits of knowledge that will help them become a better leader and help them to develop the leadership qualities in the people around them. As a person who has a great passion about the subject of leadership, writing this book has been a labor of love.
Why should I read this book? Be honest – that’s what you are really trying to figure out before you decide to invest the time and money required to read any book. There are thousands of books available on the topic of leadership. Why is this book different, and why should you care? Here are a few answers to your question.
First of all, this book is written for the IT professional as its stated audience. It focuses on the topic of leadership through the unique perspective of an IT practitioner.