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The C in CIO isn't for celebrity

Dan Roberts and Brian P. Watson | Aug. 22, 2014
The best IT leaders have a powerful but rarely discussed trait: humility.

Let's Talk About Us
But the most striking evidence of a humble leader? When their organizations succeed, these CIOs talk about "we" and "our." When something goes wrong, they talk about "I" and "my."

The problem is that too many other business leaders don't. We cringe at how often we find executives who are proud and self-important.

Humble people tend to be more likeable and more respectable--qualities you just can't buy. While too many people are asking, "What's in it for me?" humble leaders ask, "How can I help you?"

Will you embrace lifelong learning? Will you speak openly and confidently about your failures? Will you seek advice from your network--and give advice without expecting something in return?

Those are just a few of the questions current and aspiring leaders must ask themselves. As Sheleen Quish, another great CIO, told us recently: "Don't lose your humility in the job. The 'C' in 'CXO' does not stand for 'celebrity.'"


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