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The CIO Edge: Seven Leadership Skills You Need to Drive Results Hardcover – November 11, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


“So if you’re wondering what your legacy will be or how to shape it in the present, then The CIO Edge will assist you on your quest with practical case studies and easy, applicable steps to deliver results.” Public CIO

“…this fast-paced, enjoyable book dives headfirst into the key strengths that highly effective CIOs possess.”- CIO Magazine and Computerworld

“Throughout the book there are good references and case study interviews with CIOs, and while it is US CIOs who dominate, there is some good experience to glean. Overall The CIO Edge is worth a read for new CIOs, or it’s one to pass onto those members of your team you are coaching as part of a succession plan.” – CIO Magazine

About the Author

Graham Waller is a Vice President and Executive Partner in Gartner EXP. George Hallenbeck is Director of Intellectual Property Development for Korn/Ferry. Karen Rubenstrunk is a Senior Client Partner within Korn/Ferry International's CIO practice, which places more than one hundred CIOs annually.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (November 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422166376
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422166376
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #351,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The CIO Edge provides a unique view on leadership, stories from the leaders. Too often books on leadership either describe leader behaviors in abstract and academic terms or in self-serving prose colored by the author's admiration for the leader. The CIO edge is different in that it let's the leaders speak in their own words and share their own stories. In the process you gain insight on leadership in the first person.

Waller, Hollenbeck and Rubenstruck are clear that this book is about the personal side of leadership. Some would call it the 'soft' side compared to harder specific management and leadership techniques like governance.

Readers looking for advice and insight on these personal aspects of leadership will find strong material that describes not only what leadership means but provides you with insight in the minds of accomplished leaders. Achieving that goal requires hearing from leaders talk about their experiences in the first person and providing food for thought and reflection rather than a simple multi-step recipe to follow.

The authors break CIO leadership skills into the following areas that are necessary to drive results. Each skill is discussed in its own chapter with insights provided by accomplished leaders from companies like P&G, FEDEX, Kimberly Clark, Ford, among others.

1, Commit to leadership first, everything else second
2. Lead differently than you think
3. Embrace your softer side
4. Forge the right relationships, drive the right results
5. Master communications: always and all ways
6. Inspire others
7. Build people, not systems

These seven skills provide a great refresher and remind you that the way you lead is very important.
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Format: Hardcover
Once again as usual, M. McDonald's review of this book provides a thoughtful this instance, of several of Graham Waller, George Hallenbeck and Karen Rubenstruck's key points, including the themes that they examine in terms of the seven areas (strategies, really) that drive results in the exemplary companies. I also appreciate the provision of comments by senior-level executives in several of those companies, notably Sherry Aahold (FedEx), Ramón Baez (Kimberly Clark), Stephen Fugale (CIGNA Leadership Insurance), Filippo Passerini (P&G), Nick Smither (Ford), and Carol Zierhoffer (ITT).

Based on years of data-driven research and field work, the co-authors (i.e. Waller, Hollenbeck and Rubenstruck) identified those behavior patterns and key skills that will enable a CIO (or equivalent) to gain a competitive "edge" that differentiates them as leaders. There are seven and here they are woven with the fabric of the book's narrative, a separate chapter devoted to each:

o Committing to being a leader first
o Leading more with emotional intelligence than superior "smarts"
o Embracing their softer side
o Forging the relationships needed to achieve the right results
o Practicing and mastering communication skills
o Inspiring others with a compelling vision
o Building people, not systems

Obviously, there are no headsnapping revelations among the seven, nor do Waller, Hollenbeck and Rubenstruck make any such claim; however, together, they provide a framework within which an individual can improve leadership and management skills; moreover, the same framework will also be appropriate for a program that provides such development.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What gets a CIO fired?

Based on the research of the authors, it's isn't due to a lack of technology chops on the part of the CIO. CIOs get fired because they fail to build effective peer relationships.

Are you someone with great analytical skills, perhaps frustrated because you frequently fail to obtain the support of others? The CIO Edge asks you to consider whether your leadership style is too focused on creating the perfect solution instead of facilitating a solution that will be embraced and executed on to drive results.

The CIO Edge reveals a trick that the best CIOs use: they lead in ways that are very different from how they reason. While the best "... use their superior analytical abilities to help derive the best possible solution, they act in a collaborative style. They seek out people to gain additional ideas that can help reinforce, refine, and improve the conclusions that emerged from their own analysis."

For the best CIOs, the mantra is: "...through people, by people, and with people. "People simply will not give you their best efforts if they feel coerced or cowed into taking a position because you have argued them into it. It doesn't really matter how compelling your argument is; people want to feel that they are part of the problem-solving and decision-making process, not as if they are just being given the solution to execute."

Convinced yet? The CIO Edge asserts that, the best build people, not systems. Taking this one step further, The CIO Edge says that the best not only believe this, but they raise their people skills to another level. The advantage to this is that by developing people all around them, the best CIOs increase their capability and capacity to deliver results.
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