7 IT leadership surprises — and how to handle them

It's lonely at the top, particularly when a newly-minted IT leader discovers unexpected and, in many cases, disturbing facts.

7 IT leadership surprises — and how to handle them
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It can be a long, hard climb to the top of the career ladder and, for many new CIOs, CTOs and other IT leaders, the first view from above wasn't exactly what they expected.

Harvard Pan, CTO for healthcare software developer Diameter Health, clearly remembers when he discovered that a critical clinical application was dead on arrival. The incident remains forever seared into his memory. "We were rolling out an application to over 10,000 clinicians," he recalls. IT had diligently tested every aspect of the application, measuring the performance of all endpoints against test servers. "We went through a user acceptance test that validated the functionality we were delivering." Pan says. Yet somehow, even after days of testing and validation, the system came crashing down within minutes of going live. "We had overlooked a critical client infrastructure limitation," he says. It was now up to Pan to lead the search for an answer.

What surprises can you expect when you reach the top of the tech career pyramid? Here are 7 real-world possibilities.

1. Unwanted business mandates

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