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Product Strategy

How to become a perfect CIO?

Didier Fleury
Didier Fleury
Senior CIO

As I mentioned in my previous article, there is no way to become an instantly perfect and 100% likeable CIO. A CIO must develop skills to embody their action plan, which will become that of the company, not just the “IT Department.”

How to become a perfect CIO

However, you may wonder what skills characterize a CIO who comes close to being perfect in the role? Here are some examples to guide you:

#1 – Challenge yourself and inspire your team

If you want your team to improve and mature, you must lead by example so that others can follow in your footsteps.

To do this, it’s essential that you challenge your technical and interpersonal skills, remain curious, and make continuous learning the core of your strategy to inspire.

#2 – Become a “servant leader” and surround yourself with the best

I recently read articles that contrasted “servant leadership” with “charismatic leadership,” arguing that the former lacks ego. I consider myself a “servant leader” (essential to being a good transitional manager), and primarily want others to succeed. It is my ego that serves others, and those who know me know that I am far from lacking ego… quite the opposite. 😉

However, surrounding yourself with the best is not so easy to achieve. It requires great self-confidence and the ability to instill confidence in your colleagues.

#3 – Embrace the company’s strategy

Clear and shared strategic priorities are a prerequisite for the successful execution of the strategy that IT must support.

As a CIO, it is your responsibility to obtain these priorities from the Executive Committee and, more precisely, from the CEO.

IT teams must understand the language and challenges of the business to earn the trust (it is not a given) to be involved in transformation projects from the very beginning.

Company strategy and enterprise architecture are intimately linked. It is impossible to build or reform an IT system without aligning it with the company’s strategy, which you must therefore grasp, understand, and share with your teams.

#4 – Focus your efforts on well-defined value areas that will contribute to your company’s margin.

Classic strategic axes must ensure the company’s:

  • Profitability
  • Growth
  • Sustainability
  • Employee well-being

Connect your initiatives to at least one of these axes and explain how they contribute to it.

Nota Bene.

If you need reassurance, do not hesitate to assess your skills and/or follow a training program to develop those skills you perceive as weaker.

From personalized assessment to an Executive MBA program, find a path that suits your situation. This, most importantly, allows you to evaluate yourself compared to your peers, along with meeting other people, gaining different experiences, and thus progress.

In addition to this article, I’m considering writing another one focused on the point above, explaining why I personally pursued an Executive MBA program, what I gained from it, and what my frustrations were. I can also include insightful feedback from CIO/CTOs who have followed or are following different paths.

If this is an article you would be interested in, please leave a quick comment stating so below.

I hope to be sharing how I have developed and continue to develop my skills with you again very soon.

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