by Gary Beach

The CIO/CEO Relationship: The 7 CEO Management Styles

Mar 01, 20022 mins
IT Leadership

ONE OF THE FUN PARTS of my job as publisher is doing the annual “road show,” where I troop around to scores of cities and preach the gospel according to CIO.

I had the opportunity of presenting this year’s road show with Frank Genovese, a colleague who is publisher of our sister publication, Darwin ( One of the most compelling slides in Frank’s presentation was from an article in the winter 2000 issue of the Sloan Management Review. The article, titled “How to Be a CEO for the Information Age,” took a close look at the management styles of CEOs and grouped them into categories called “The Seven Creeds of the CEO,” pertaining to how well CEOs understand IT.

The seven categories with brief descriptions follow. Select the one category that most represents the CEO at your company. You can then cast your vote online on CIO’s website.

  • The Hypocrite: Espouses strategic importance of IT but negates belief through personal action.
  • The Waverer: Reluctantly accepts strategic importance of IT but is not ready to get involved in IT matters.
  • The Atheist: Convinced IT is of little value and publicly espouses this belief.
  • The Zealot: Convinced IT is strategically important and equally believes he is an IT expert.
  • The Agnostic: Concedes IT is strategically important but needs repeated convincing.
  • The Monarch: Accepts IT is strategically important, appoints the best CIO, and steps back.
  • The Believer: Believes IT enables strategic advantage and demonstrates belief through action.

Which label best fits your CEO? Let’s have fun. Cast your vote at I’ll write about the results in an upcoming column.