10 More Tips for Aspiring Execs…

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 .
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Build your information catalog to understand the context of your organization inside its industry. Know what your competitors are doing.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

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