CIO.com asked several authors and IT industry experts how to become a better CIO, or for that matter, a better leader. Each individual stressed the importance of time commitment in order to become better individually or collectively as a team. Below are 11 different highlights to consider:
- Find A Good Mentor
It is absolutely critical to have a mentor within your industry and within your company. You must have someone who you trust that has "been there-done that," and someone that you can bounce new ideas off before presenting them. It is also great to learn the internal politics of the company you aspire to lead.
- Empower Your Team
This may seem a little cliché but creating an environment where each individual feels safe enough to express their ideas is critical. Try to become a mentor to somebody. Each time you take action this note should be in the back of your mind.
- Develop Strategy Skills
If you have not received an MBA yet, take classes, even if you are unable to complete an entire curriculum. Also, read books such as Michael Porter's "Competitive Strategy and Competitive Advantage."
- Develop Your Communication Skills
Remember who your audience is. Perhaps even take a writing class. What are the ideas you are trying to convey from one mind to another? Do it succinctly and confidently.
- Become a Better Listener
Stop thinking you already have the best idea. Remind yourself how important the environment is for the employee speaking, and remember that you are trying to be someone's mentor. Good listeners are always valued.
- Become a Great Networker
Introverts can be great leaders, but it really helps to be social and likable. This will also help you establish connections outside of your company or industry through which you can obtain outside perspective.
- Be Consistent and Honest
If your policies are inconsistent or lack transparency, that is a fast way to lose respect. No matter what aspect of business, whether it be deadlines or punctuality, maintain a consistent and honest demeanor.
- Be Authentic
Another sure-fire way to lose respect is by being "fake." Do not beat around the bush—employees can tell when you are not being authentic with them.
- Do Not Micro-Manage
Employees are hired for specific qualities and reasons. Trust them to be able to complete their task and trust them to come to you if they need any help or run into any conflicts.
- Surround Yourself With People Smarter Than You
Being the smartest person in the room may feel nice but it will never help you grow as a leader. Find people who challenge you.
- Always Be Learning
Most important, always keep track of anything new that came up throughout the day. Measure how long certain activities take so you know what to work on. Continually polish your personal toolbox.
This is just a summary of the points made in the article. Click here to read more detail behind these helpful leadership strategies.