Estimated reading time: 2 mins
If you’re an aspiring CIO or CTO then you have to keep on your game CONSTANTLY . But it isn’t always about being clever. It’s about doing a number of simple things well, and continuously.
I post a number of articles about career progression from the shop floor to the board room table, and below is another set of thoughts I wanted to share. I’ve gathered these from a number of conversations I’ve had with people on this track. I noticed a pattern in the really successful leaders with nitro-boosted careers. I won’t call them secrets, but I’d say they were behaviors that are often trivialized and ignored.
The obvious thing is, none of these is rocket science. Most of the high-impact things you can do to achieve your aspirations are really straightforward and basic. It’s all about awareness and execution! Give them a try friends.
- Master your role – don’t be satisfied with doing the minimum. You won’t be noticed if you do only what is expected of you. Fulfill your role to its highest potential.
- Mix with people . Sit down with people in your office cafe or restaurant that you wouldn’t normally mix with and talk about general things in your organization. Try to come up with a few things to work together on. Again, FOLLOW UP if you agree any actions.
- Be human. Be yourself. Don’t act up as you’ll be found out. Leaders are people at the end of the day. Execs are people too .
- Don’t just focus on IT. Try to take on some other senior responsibility in your organization in order to learn the about its wider context and operations, such as becoming a Health & Safety Officer (you get to wear a hi-viz vest!) or how about a Business Continuity representative.
- Learn about the financial environment of the business – discover who does what and why. Understanding financial basics like profit and loss gives you the cornerstone of ‘business’ – every business decision in a public company is based on these dimensions. If you ignore finances then you ignore business itself and you won’t be considered as commercial.
- You don’t have to stick within your organization – seek responsibilities in volunteer organizations and make sure its a senior/leadership role. Publicize this within your organization.
- Build your information catalog to understand the context of your organization inside its industry. Know what your competitors are doing.
- Look at industry trends and changes within your industry and think about how your organization will change because of them. Begin an open discussion with peers.
- Don’t be a church-mouse! Open your mouth and offer opinions outside your core area. FOLLOW UP! Problem-solve so that you build a reputation as a general problem-solver.
- Development is about getting outside of your comfort zone. Take a 10% stretch every day – do something that will challenge you. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! Every mistake is a learning opportunity.