CIO Series – IT Stars of Tomorrow (What Must You Now Do…)

CIO Logo from CIO Magazine
CIO Logo from CIO Magazine

In today’s competitive market, it is extremely challenging for IT professionals to develop a platform for themselves and take off from that platform to reach soaring heights of success. There are always risks such as political favoritism, changing workplace situations, and limited room for growth. However there is a number of aspiring IT buffs who do manage to make their mark and climb ladder after ladder of success. How do they do it?

Energy, spirit, enthusiasm, ability, conviction and steadfast resolve are traits that can be found in many. What separates an aspiring star from one who is destined to reach there is planning. In a company where there is one or two or maybe a few more top ranked positions, the competition is not just intense, it is fierce. IT professionals must plan and adopt an ingenious set of behavioral guidelines to their work and always keep room for change. Only a handful knows of this behavioral approach and only a handful succeeds. Let us then explore some of these colossally important work-norms.
“People pick people they like”, remarked the Managing Partner of a renowned business institution in the United States. One of the foremost behavioral aspects of a future IT star is his or her ability to extend an attentive listening ear towards others, understand them and try to help solve their problems. Due to the technical nature of the job, many IT professionals end up failing to communicate with other people in the business. It is important, on a daily basis, to simplify technical information into a language that people understand- into a language that delineates the relevance of technology to the business. This may seem challenging, but it also is an opportunity to interact with people from all walks of the business and market your distinguishing traits. Then when you have people on your side, rest assured that when the time comes they will be vouching for you- little details that you pay attention to can prove highly rewarding one day.
Relationship building is of paramount importance. The workplace is a fanfare of all sorts of relationships and trust is the hallmark of a fruitful relationship. If you can build trust with your colleagues you are miles ahead of the rest. The workplace is after all run by people, and people value trust. Moreover, if your boss and you can conjure a similar relationship, then you have it all. A boss who trusts his direct report will coach and mentor him that much more, and cordially extend more space for growth. You will enjoy the opportunity to learn directly, with the added reap benefits off of the open line of communication between the two of you. Your talents will then truly show, will traverse limitations and create effect. It is also important to remember however, to share everything- meaning that you share not just the good news with your boss, but also the bad news. Bosses like to be informed and it is in your best interest that you not hide information, be it of any nature.
Next, IT staffs who want to climb ladders must understand the ins and outs of the businesses they work for. There have been instances in American hospitals when some of the IT staff has taken proactive steps to move with Medical staff on rounds, just so as to understand the nature of their work. This goes to show that the IT staffs of today pay utmost importance to the issues of knowing what your business does and how its people work. It entails moving beyond your seats, going door to door, meeting, talking and interacting with people and their teams. Without understanding business users’ work lives, it’s impossible to deliver optimum technologysolutions. IT personnel hoping to make it to the top someday must develop this habit.
Finally, perhaps most importantly, you must be able to think IT strategically, and create strategic IT solutions. So you must possess a clear and deep-rooted idea of what the top tier management values and envisions. The key to moving ahead is knowing what to prioritize. This means, for example, knowing which project to volunteer for and how to promote them to those above you, who are to decide the course of your future. Furthermore, simply knowing ways in which IT can create value is not enough. It is imperative to develop the capacity to respond to situations and opportunities and establish your mark upon the organization’s success because frankly- the organization’s success is your success also.

Leave a Comment