7 Traits Shared by Successful CIOs

Moving the business forward in the digital convergence will require strong technology leadership. These specific traits rise to the top among the most successful CIOs.  

With CIOs and their IT leadership counterparts increasingly being called on to execute the new digitally-driven strategies of the business, hiring bodies must be evermore vigilant in finding the women and men who can act as the technology change agents their organizations need.

To assist in this goal, CPP, a California-based consultancy firm who uses an array of research-based psychological assessments to assist their clients with their team building, career development, selection and retention goals, tabulated and released the data on the seven leadership traits which are most commonly shared among CIOs.

Using their California Psychology Inventory (CPI) assessment tool, CPP collected the results of test takers identifying themselves as CIOs, or in an IT leadership role. As a tool, the CPI assessment is a series of calibrated questions designed to help leaders gain a better understanding of of their strengths and weaknesses, pinpointing areas of their leadership style in need of the most improvement and highlighting inherent abilities so they can be better leveraged.

As covered by CIO.com, here are the seven traits shared by successful CIOs:

 
1. Empathy 

By seeking to understand your employees, your leadership style will be more effective. "CIOs who demonstrate empathy are able to get inside their employees' and coworkers' experiences and try to imagine what they are thinking and feeling," said Sherrie Haynie, a personality expert with CPP.

2. Dominance

This trait requires a balance. Being too dominant could put you at risk of intimidating your employees, but being submissive could portray a lack of confidence or willpower. Finding the equilibrium between each side of the spectrum will result in valuable leadership.

3. Self-awareness 

"Leaders who demonstrate high self-awareness are comfortable with themselves, which means they recognize their flaws yet remain confident in what they bring to the table," Ms. Haynie said. Be willing to accept both your strengths and your flaws — it will help you be more relatable to your employees.

4. Flexibility 

Leaders — especially CIOs — have to be flexible and willing to adapt not only to a changing workplace, but also to a changing world. However, you should refrain from becoming overly flexible as it could make you appear too flaky.

5. Insightfulness

Like self-awareness, insightfulness gives CIOs a leg up on better relating to their employees. "A CIO who can demonstrate insightfulness will have a better understanding of what motivates their team and often realize that those motivators are very complicated," Ms. Haynie said.

6. A balance between rule-favoring and rule-questioning

The key is to find the perfect middle point between obsessing over the rules and breaking every guideline. CIO.com claims leaders who do find this balance are more innovative — they're interested in breaking traditions but staying up-to-date on trends.

7. Independence

"Too much independence may lead to a siloed working environment," said Ms. Haynie. "Showing little independence as a leader is never good as it may indicate a lack of tenacity and the tendency to quit when they run into trouble." CIOs should strive to be collaborative, but refrain from overly relying on others.


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