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We Have a Book Title – Now We Need a Book Cover!

by Tina Nunno  |  July 23, 2013  |  33 Comments

In my first blog post I shared with you my intention to write a book on Machiavellian politics and strategies for CIOs. As many of you know, I have few boundaries regarding what I will say, so some may believe this book project to be ill-advised. I am guaranteed to create headaches for our editorial team whom I will thank in advance for their patience and indulgence.

I also want to thank all of you who were generous enough to take the time to weigh in on the title of the new book. Quite a number of you cast votes and wrote in comments that were enormously helpful. You came up with choices that were more creative than any I could have come up with, and in many cases much more sinister. Special kudos to those you who went in the extremely sinister direction by the way…folks after my own heart! I couldn’t post most of the truly extreme titles to this blog (the editorial team is already stressed out), but they were highly entertaining and I’m pretty sure the title of a potential sequel is in there somewhere…

As a reminder, the two titles we asked you to vote and comment on were –

 The Machiavellian CIO: A Radical Approach for Successful CIO Leadership


The Wolf in CIO’s Clothing: A Machiavellian Strategy for Conflict Management


Based on your votes and input, the final title is…

The Wolf in CIO’s Clothing: A Machiavellian Strategy for Successful IT Leadership

The title combines what you said you liked best, the Wolf imagery and the Machiavellian focus. And we added the broader view of “Successful IT Leadership” since, as a number of you pointed out, the content is intended to be useful for not only CIOs, but for aspiring CIOs and IT leaders at almost any level. I am very excited about the title and hope you are pleased with the result.

Your input has guided the development of my politics research over the years, so it seemed only fitting to me that it guide the title, and hopefully now, the cover of the book. The Gartner graphics team has been incredibly creative and done a phenomenal job of creating cover art. When they showed the art options to me, I was hoping there would be a clear and obvious winner. But I found it impossible to choose so hope I may please ask your opinion again. We’ve narrowed the many great options down to three great options which I hope you will like, and I invite your comments please. The options are:

 Option One: This cover highlights the Wolf using a skillfully rendered mask, which symbolizes how CIOs must sometimes disguise the strategies, tactics and extreme behaviors they may need to call upon to succeed in the challenging world of leadership. The mask might also scare away potential enemies. Is this a mask you would aspire to wear?

 The Wolf in CIO Clothing cover composition



Option Two: This cover features a CIO with a bright light cast upon him, which reveals a shadow in the form of a Wolf. In many ways this cover symbolizes the bright and sometimes harsh light of scrutiny often cast upon CIOs, and what they need to do to deal with it. Would you like to cast this shadow?


The Wolf in CIO's Clothing


Option Three:  This cover features the Wolf in digital form. It emphasizes that CIOs face special challenges that are sometimes unique to IT leaders. The Wolf has sharp, bright edges, as the CIO role often does. Dealing with the sharp edges often requires extreme approaches. Is this cover your Wolf avatar?

The Wolf in CIO's Clothing


Machiavelli said,

“The majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances, as though they are realities, and are even more influenced by the things that seem, than by those that are.”

So, how do the appearances of these Wolves seem to you?

I look forward to your comments on the covers.  Thank you.

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Tina Nunno
Vice President & Distinguished Analyst
16 years at Gartner
16 years IT Industry

Tina Nunno is a research vice president in Gartner's CIO Research group based in Stamford, Connecticut. Ms. Nunno is responsible for conducting research and developing publications aimed at helping CIOs and their organizations around the world improve their performance and contribution. Read Full Bio

Thoughts on We Have a Book Title – Now We Need a Book Cover!

  1. john hansen says:

    In my eyes, the second cover is the winner. It provides the clearest connection to the title (the others really portray a mask that would result in a CIO in wolf’s clothing), and I believe it is the most likely to turn a browser into a reader due to the fairly dramatic tension between the two connected images.

  2. Tina Nunno says:

    Hello John,
    Thank you very much for your feedback. Great point about the mask concept resulting in a CIO in wolf’s clothing. I hadn’t really thought of it that way and can see how it would come across like that. Your comments also made me realize I had mischaracterized the third option by calling it a “digitized wolf mask” rather than a “digitized wolf”. So I have updated the post to reflect that it is a Wolf itself. Many thanks for your very helpful feedback. And I agree with you that the second option is really very dramatic!

  3. Cindy Keely says:

    I really like the third option the best. I think that CIOs have a lot of sharp edges to deal with. All are very good but this one is my favorite. 🙂

  4. Tina Nunno says:

    I agree Cindy, CIOs have a lot of sharp edges to deal with every day. Conflict finds the CIO in spite of their best efforts, often simply because there is so much demand for IT. When everyone can’t get their way, the sharp objects sometimes start coming out. Many thanks for your input!

  5. Karin Riley says:

    Option two – split images, split color, really grab attention and convey the idea of what you see on the outside may not be what’s on the inside.

  6. Dana Mooney says:

    I’m really taken by the simplicity of Option 1… not only is the text more striking against the white background, I also think the mask metaphor is very powerful. Most of us wear masks of some sort and it’s up to the people around us to discover what’s behind it.

  7. Mohsin says:

    My opinion, as John said, second option serves the purpose of the title of the book as well as the invitation to explore the connection between the images. And the wolf in this second option seems more wicked than the other soft ones 😉

  8. Audrey Apfel says:

    Hey Tina!

    #2 is just the most interesting and compelling image. However, my finely tuned decorating sense says the grey and red background is just not working . . . The red is especially UUUUGGGGGLLLLLYYYY! Very outdated color scheme to me, especially compared to the other two covers.

    White and black, or some of the blue shades from the wolf mask in #3 would just be so much better!

  9. Tina Nunno says:

    Thank you Karin, I am glad you like the split image. I really do like the notion of exploring the leadership behaviors that are best kept on the inside or hidden so to speak…

  10. Tina Nunno says:

    Hello Dana, thank you for your input. Option 1 is very clean and modern-looking, isn’t it? I agree that the mast metaphor is powerful. As Machiavelli implied in the above quote, we rarely take time to look behind the masks of others and this can be unfortunate. I believe that when we go a bit deeper with people there is a lot more to them than the mask would imply. Thank you again.

  11. Tina Nunno says:

    Hello Mohsin, So the second cover seems more “wicked” than the others? As we go through the editing process I’ll have to be sure they don’t edit all the wicked out…Thank you!

  12. Tina Nunno says:

    Hey Audrey, so how do you really feel?? I could try and argue your “finely tuned decorating sense” but since you are well aware (and readers won’t be surprised to hear) my office at Gartner is starkly black, white and grey so I haven’t a leg to stand on when it comes to color choices. Thus the invitation to others with a finer sense of style to comment here. Many thanks for your (not so) subtle comments. :o)

  13. Option 3. Title Pops!

  14. Tina Nunno says:

    Thank you for the vote John!

  15. Jenny Sussin says:

    I told you in person and I’m saying it for the whole blogosphere to hear: Option 1!

    I’d say 2 but I don’t want Audrey to come after me.

  16. Tina Nunno says:


    Thank you for your vote. I would be worried about upsetting Audrey as well. I believe she has a number of the tactics the book covers in her arsenal…so it is wise to be wary.


  17. Gouri Sankar Chandrakumar says:

    Option 2 is the most fitting as if not only embodies the title but also gives contrasting color that reflects how different the personalities could be in real world. Personally, I would prefer White (representing White Collar Job) to Red as the background for the lower half of the cover.

  18. Tina Nunno says:

    Thank you Gouri. So the CIO occupies a white color job, but needs to use Grey Wolf tactics? Seems very appropriate to me…

  19. Audrey Apfel says:

    Jenny/Tina: I would not come after you. But, as I am an adherent to the principles within Tina’s fine book, you wouldn’t know it if I did!

    I too like Gouri’s idea for the color change.

    The red and grey scheme just doesn’t catch my eye or make me want to download the book. It just looks old. I do love the wolf shadow.

    But what are you going to do about the guy thing? The CIO is a guy, and many of our CIOs are women???

    And Tina, your office decor is fine but notice that you don’t have any red in there either . . .

  20. Tina Nunno says:


    Thanks for asking about the “guy thing”. Yes, it is true that the image here is of a man, and as you and many others know I have invested a great deal in working with our Women CIOs. Many of the examples in the book are of Machiavellian women. So should this cover “lead the pack” of opinion we would definitely have to find a solution to this.

    And it is true I don’t have any red in my office…but I will try not to let that influence the artistic choices for the cover.

  21. Tom says:

    Option 3 for sure !! Congrats on the new book.

  22. Tina Nunno says:

    Thank you Tom. Greatly appreciated! Another vote for Option 3!

  23. Dimitris Piperis says:

    I like the figure who walks in a red “area” and the authors “light” that reveals the shadow of a wolf in action. I vote option 2. Anyway, I’m looking forward to get the book.

  24. Tina Nunno says:


    I hope you will enjoy the book and that you will be able to put its tactics into action.

    Many thanks and all the best!

  25. Phil Hayward says:

    While the image in option 1 really appeals to my aesthetic I’d have to opt for option 2 as well. It captures best the hidden nature of the ‘wolfish-ness’ you often see, and need, in a good CIO. As for the male or female CIO figure, put long hair on the figure and it could just as easily be a woman in a pants suit 🙂

  26. Michael says:

    Second one! Hands down.

  27. Tina Nunno says:

    Thank you Phil and Michael. We really are going to have to look at solving this gender neutrality issue if option two remains a strong contender!! It was the sinister wolf that made an impression, wasn’t it?

  28. Ken Williams says:

    I like option two the best because of the complete image of a wolf, the size is great because the wolf makes the person look so tiny. The cameo image of it is realistic and triggers an instant response in the human mind. To me, the other options (1 and 3) do not convey wolf so much as dog. Plus the head by itself is not as striking as a prowling wolf, in fact it looks defeated like a trophy.

    Option 1 actually reminds me of the wolf from “The Little Red Riding Hood” books. Not very scary at all, sort of playful and infantile and more apropos of a Halloween costume. Also, masks these days carry connotations of Guy Fox and occupy Wall St., probably not an inviting vibe for corporate CIO’s!

    The final element that really puts option two over the top for me is the light and the shadow, which, like an x-ray, reveal the inner truth.
    That and the size dynamic between wolf and person.

    Orange and blue are my favourite colours, so I must admit that bias towards option two!

  29. Tina Nunno says:


    Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I am seeing an emerging pattern that many folks want a scary Wolf CIO, as though you want to be able to frighten the local villagers. And yes, it is true, there is a fair amount of that going on in the book. I should emphasise though, that the Machiavellian inspired Wolf is also a social creature that works well in groups and can amass a strong following. Both essential qualities of great CIOs. And you are right Ken, the goal of the book is to help ensure no CIO becomes a defeated trophy, but rather more of a hunter who can help achieve the business goals. Thanks again!

  30. Toni Bleiweiss says:

    I’m a Mac….and prefer the cleaness of the first cover. I don’t need the cover to explain the book to me, I just need it to get my attention so I want to pick it up. Cover #1 serves that purpose. Can’t wait to read this regardless !

  31. Toon Geensen says:

    Hi Tina,
    First of all my congratulations with the book initiative. I’ve seen the development of this theme growing over a substantial period and I am a strong believer from the many conversations with my CIO clients.

    My gut choice is option 2, however I like and share your observations in your reply of 25th July to Ken Williams. Interestingly, young male wolves will be chased away from their packs, sometimes to come back years later to challenge the leadership position.

  32. Alexandre Borghoff says:

    Hi Tina, glad to participate…all 3 options are very good but my choice is #2!! Hope to have you soon in Brazil!!

  33. Patty Travaglino says:

    Tina this is coming together nicely. I like option #3 – it strikes me as representing you well as an author and also reflecting (and matching) the Gartner brand positively.

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