CIO: Know Thyself...

Self awareness... you hear it regularly along with words and phrases like "yoga", "holistic", "enlightenment", "inspiration", "finding yourself", "journeys of discovery", and "tofu". (OK, maybe not the last one)

Is there any place for self awareness in the life of the CIO? In today's world, the CIO MUST understand him/herself better than most everyone else in the organization. Since 21st century IT is about providing exceptional service, building a high performance team is critical. If the CIO doesn't understand their strengths, their passions, their "better done by someone else" skills, they will likely build a team of people based on resumes, rather than seeking and developing key complementary skills in their team.

I have been subjected (not always willingly) to a battery of assessment tests - Myers Briggs, Colors, Firo B, and many others, and if you asked me to define how instrumental they've been in changing the way I operate, it would be a very short reply... "I'm not sure".

There is one tool however, that has made a noticeble difference. The Clifton Strengths Finder originated from the Gallup Organization, which has been instrumental in helping me develop high performance teams. The Strengths Finder tool has matured and is available online at www.strengthsfinder.com

It is advised you buy the book StrengthsFinder 2.0 and use the access code in the book to take the assessment. I have not had one person yet who found the results inaccurate, especially when they asked their friends and family "Does this describe me?"

The real power is when you list your strengths beside those of your team, and you begin to identify areas of strenght, or gaps. This is best described in the book "Strengths Based Leadership" available on the same site.

A CIO who is not self aware, is more likely to hire people like themselves, rather than the eclectic, diverse, sometimes wierd group of people that together provide the strength and skills their organization really needs.


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