What do you think are the essential skills nowadays for someone to be tapped as a CIO? And how can they be acquired? The funny thing about being in the lead technology position within a company is that it is not about what you know about technology, but what your team does with it. This does imply that you need to understand two things: what is important to your company, and how technology can help.
The best way to acquire the first is to totally immerse yourself in what your company does. Build an understanding of the strategy, why that strategy was chosen over other possible strategies, what is critical to the success of that strategy, etc. If you are in this industry, you already understand technology. To stand out you need to understand what technology can do to advance your company's strategy.
From there it is all about leadership. Immerse yourself in the task of genuine leadership. Learn what this means to you personally, since true leadership needs to come from who you are and your personal commitments. You will need the disciplined execution, proper structure, right goals, incentives, etc. But don't forget to be a person too. Being your genuine self, complete with letting your personality show through, is what people need to see to follow you.
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