The Importance of Executive Presence for the CIO

87455819Today more and more companies see the need for CIOs. This means that IT managers must evolve into company leaders and stand out among their executive peers.

But, not all CIOs have the executive presence they need to succeed in this role.

Gartner, the world’s leading technology research and advisory firm, conducted an interesting study asking 485 CIOs “What are the top three leadership traits for the CIO?” The results revealed the top three traits are: business knowledge and acumen, communications and influence, and personal and professional demeanor. Many readers may be surprised that technology skills ranked 12th on the list.

But, this came as no surprise to our team at Exec-Comm. While business knowledge and acumen are incredibly important; Exec-Comm agrees that communications and influence and personal and professional demeanor will set leaders apart from their colleagues.

The key to being a successful CIO, according to the study, was for the executive to exhibit both the ability as the lead technologist and as the lead business executive, overseeing the impact of IT on a company’s direction.

Given that the second most important trait for a CIO is communication and influence, learning how to communicate with employees and other executives is extremely crucial to their success.

Some of the communication skills we focus on in our training that enhance executive presence of any CIO are:

  • Increasing confidence and physical presence
  • Understanding communication style and flexing to others
  • Listening to people and having an open mind
  • Strategizing alternative approaches for individual employees
  • Handling hostile or emotional confrontations
  • Increasing productivity and motivating teams

Think about what role you play in your company. Do you have the top three leadership traits of a good CIO? Check out our site to learn more and explore training opportunities that can help you and your team develop executive presence.

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