by CIO Staff

Recipe for Business Success: Inspirational and Operational

Sep 01, 20013 mins
IT Leadership

MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, BUSINESS MAGAZINES?CIO included?feature pictures of businesspeople on their covers. These portraits generally show well-groomed, usually smiling folk, glowing with success. As editors, we expect that our readers will be drawn to these images because we know that most people are somewhat less well groomed, and perhaps fret that they are not as successful as they could be. We hope that our readers will see these images and on some level think that by reading the story they will come to resemble that fortunate person on the cover.

Of course, most stories about business leaders, ours included, fail to deliver on that promise, and that’s no surprise. The notion that one man (or one woman) is individually responsible for an entire enterprise’s success (or failure) is almost always fallacious. The real secrets to business success are not so easily teased out. Success is invariably the product of the work of many individuals, and it often depends on such unfathomables as macroeconomic factors and pure dumb luck. The value we can derive by reading about one man or woman’s achievements is mainly inspirational, rarely operational.

Except, we humbly suggest, in the case of the story about the two men gracing the cover of the issue you are currently holding: Waste Management CEO A. Maurice “Maury” Myers and Senior Vice President of IT Tom Smith.

What makes “The Secret of Their Successes” (Page 62) different is that its subjects are not being profiled because of who they are (although they seem like nice enough guys), nor because they happen to preside over a successful enterprise (which, as a matter of fact, they do), but because they’ve developed and clearly articulated a suite of turnaround management best practices that can be applied to any enterprise, in any circumstances, by anyone. So in this case, you can be like that person on the cover. All you need to do is follow the rules…and work hard. As you read the story, and read about Myers and Smith waking up and going out on the road at the crack of dawn to meet their employees, it becomes crystal clear that hard work is the real foundation of any business success.

The other element that makes this story perfect for CIO is the partnership between CEO and CIO?the CEO appreciating the centrality of IT, the CIO understanding the business drivers. Together, and only together, they make quite a team and are much more than just pretty faces.

(One of Myers’ rules?in fact, his first?will certainly warm the cockles of any CIO’s heart: “He who has the best information always wins.”)