You’ve finally got the job you always wanted – you’re CIO at a good organisation, with a direct line to the board and good support from the chief executive.
Good for you, but what about the rest of your team? Do you ever give a second’s thought for who comes next, or are you singularly focused on your own position?
A good CIO will always think about what, or more specifically who, comes next. Here’s five ways for you to think about the next-generation IT leader who will eventually become your replacement:
- Pass down responsibility - A poor manager sticks their fingers in too many pies, failing to recognise that delegation helps reduce the pressure. A good deputy will help you undertake other crucial tasks. They’ll also be ready to step up when you depart, so you’ll be helping your business in the long-term too.
- Spread the joy – When you get a meaty hook into a business-focused project, let your deputy have a look too. Let them experience what it’s like to interact with executives that might otherwise be beyond their remit.
- Push them out – Don’t confine your deputy. A good CIO knows as much about the rest of the business as the IT organisation. So, gave them time to focus on marketing, sales and operations. Let them run a social media project; let them step outside the business and run a dot com offshoot. It can only help them in the long-term and the glory of any success will reflect back on you.
- Let them network – There’s a tendency for senior CIOs to hoard the networking and media opportunities. Such exposure can help your career, so it makes sense. But your deputy could benefit from such networking, too. Peeping behind the curtain will help them to get a feel for what a public-facing job might entail. And one again, any positive publicity for the IT team will reflect back on you.
- Just talk – Always, always make time to hang out at the water cooler. You might feel like the headmaster hanging round with the teenagers smoking behind the bike sheds; but the more you get out, the more you’ll get used to it. Most people just like a natter and you’ll be respected for being approachable. It’s easy to forget that when you’re removed in your own office.
What do you think? Are these tips that you’ve used in your role as a CIO? Can IT leaders do more to encourage the next-generation of leaders and what other best practice tips might help?