What do Successful CIOs Have in Common?


Successful business executives typically possess a few common traits, and the technology world offers no exception to this rule. Additionally, the unique aspects of the IT industry highlight other abilities held by the top CIOs in the field. Analyzing this skill set is a must for anyone aspiring for the corner office.

Here is a look at a few typical leadership traits of the top CIOs in the business community. Develop these special abilities to improve your own career path, whether or not it leads to the executive suite.

Empathy Helps the Understanding of Employees

An empathic nature is important for any IT executive. It helps them truly understand what makes their employees tick. Sherrie Haynie, a consultant and personality expert with CPP, the publisher of the Myers-Briggs personality assessment, commented on the importance of empathy in a CIO.

“CIOs who demonstrate empathy are able to get inside their employees’ and co-workers’ experiences and try to imagine what they are thinking and feeling. CIOs who display a high preference towards empathy understand that getting buy-in from the rest of their team requires others to believe in their message,” said Haynie.

Self-Awareness is Critical

Leaders who can identify their own weaknesses are better able to see the same in others. This is a key factor in improving their own skills over a long technology career. A self-deprecating nature in regards to one’s own flaws also helps these CIOs relate to their staff.

Flexibility and an Open Mind in a Changing Industry

The constantly changing technology world requires leadership with the open mind to see change, combined with the flexibility to react to it. “Being able to inflict change within an organization requires flexibility, the willingness to try new ideas and the tolerance to be comfortable with ambiguity when things don’t work out as expected,” said Haynie.

An Independent, Yet Collaborative Nature

The top CIOs are able to balance an independent nature with the ability to collaborate as necessary; the latter trait being especially vital in this era of DevOps. A failure to show enough independence might cause that CIO to be perceived as a weak leader. Still, collaboration and being receptive to feedback is a must to prevent becoming isolated from the rest of the team.

When you need additional insights from the technology world, connect with the knowledgeable team at MindFinders. As one of the top IT staffing agencies in the Metro DC area, we can help your company achieve new levels of success. Schedule some time with us as soon as possible!


Written by Tim Booker, President and CEO of MindFinders, with over 20 years of industry experience.


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