by Paul T. Cottey

What kind of IT leader do you want to be?

Dec 21, 2015
CIOIT LeadershipTechnology Industry

What do you want to do as an IT leader? What do you want to do differently next year?

It’s a great time of year to take stock of where you are and where you want to be, both as a person and as a the leader of an IT organization. The first one is up to you, since you know I think you are perfect just the way you are. As to the second one, you don’t have to make a list, but at least think about as many of these items as you can before the end of year revelry is in full swing. I talked about what you want to do as an IT organization here, but this is more about you as a leader.

I pulled some examples of my answers from the last few years to get you started.

What do you want to do differently next year? More importantly, what do you want to accomplish differently?

  • Write a blog and post every two to three weeks.
  • Tie the outputs of the development team directly back to the P&L used to run the company.

What commitments to your staff are you prepared to make and to keep?

  • Set aside enough budget to allow each person to get external training. The commitment back to me is that they must come back and report, both in writing and at a team meeting, on what they learned and on whether they would recommend others take the same training.
  • Post only positions that we are going to fill, and fill those positions with the right people.

How are you going to blur and erase the “us and them” line between you and your team and the non-IT people in the company (formerly called, “The Business”)?

  • Get the key business users of our internal applications together on the phone every month and in person twice a year so that our backlog reflects the actual needs of our users.
  • Invite “special guest stars” to the IT All Hands meetings to give their perspective on our IT organization.
  • Visit each of our customers at least once instead of relying on email, the phone, and video conferencing.

I do hope you take some time to relax and unwind at this the end of 2015. I will.