Great CIOs have great teams.
The statement almost is understood, but its true that the strength of any one leader can be measured by the strength of her teams. In terms of “Good to Great” this means getting the right people ‘on the bus ‘ and in the right seats. Creating a great team is a persistent concern of CIOs and every executive as modern management and work is a team sport.
How do you know a great CIO has a great team?
You know a CIO is great by the nature and behavior of the people surrounding them. People working for a great CIO show it. Great teams do not surround the CIO like an entourage or series of handlers.
Great teams move with the CIO. They take initiative and act independently because they know the based on their understanding of the CIOs direction and what is required for the organization to be successful.
Great teams know that they can bring tough news to the CIO and that the CIO will listen to reality. They have the confidence to bring both issues and solutions when working with the CIO. That confidence does not turns over into arrogance.
The team’s attitude can also tell you when you are meeting a pseudo Great CIO. Teams that protect their CIO show their insecurity. Teams that demand that you show them undo respect because they work for the CIO show their insecurity. Teams that hide information from their CIO show their lack of ability.
How can you tell that the CIO knows they have a great team?
You see it in the way the CIO talks about their accomplishments. It is not just that they say “we” rather than “I.” That is a weak test.
Rather it is when they give examples, they describe the team, name people, have small anecdotes and produce a genuine smile or sign of admiration. They do not take credit for what they have done; rather they defer to the team and take only a portion of the credit. They talk about the challenges that people have overcome and how the organization and its people have grown from the experience.
When CIOs talk about their results as the results of their teams and speak of it positively – like they would like to have that experience again – then chances are they have a great team and they have an important element of being a great CIO.
Are these the right characteristics of a great team who works for a great CIO?
What is your experience being part of a great team?