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The 11 Secrets of Highly Influential IT Leaders Hardcover – April 1, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


The 11 Secrets are especially valuable for wrestling with the problem of how to effectively market IT to your stakeholder community. Phenomenally insightful; this is EQ for IT leaders. Whether for strategic decision making or guiding day-to-day operations, I'm already putting it to work. --Jim Korcykoski, SVP and CIO of Nationwide Insurance

If you are an IT leader working to have demonstrable impact with your business partners, this book is a great handbook. It will provide you with the skills you need to succeed. --Greg Valdez, CIO of Ca Technologies

So many IT professionals and aspiring CIOs are running around blind. Many of them fail to realize that influence is the key factor. How to get it and how to use it. If you want to be a CIO who is not just taking orders but is innovating for your business, this is the book to read. --Paul Conocenti, Former CIO of NYU's Langone Medical Center

I picked up the 11 Secrets to read on vacation thinking; 'Here we go with yet another IT book.' I'm not sure who was more surprised at how much I enjoyed it, me or my kids. Suffice it to say, within a few pages I found myself underlining and dog tagging highlighting key messages and thinking 'this is definitely not the typical IT management book.' The unique value of this book, and the system Marc presents, is the tangible road map it provides for aspiring professionals and managers to follow in order to succeed in this demanding field. --Lori Beer, Executive Vice President of Enterprise Business Services at Wellpoint

The 11 Secrets gives you in 160 pages what it usually takes 20 years to learn in the school of hard knocks. Distilled into a clear system, this material will help IT professionals and managers build more successful and rewarding careers. You don't just read the 11 Secrets once and put it away. You go back to it for guidance and reference, like a trusted cookbook. --Michael LaBianca, Vice President of Global Technology Strategy at American Express

About the Author

Marc J. Schiller is a leading voice and thinker on IT leadership and longtime mentor to IT leaders. His recent book, The 11 Secrets of the Highly Influential IT Leaders, breaks new ground and takes on the most pressing problems of IT leaders today: gaining the respect of stakeholders, effectively promoting the value and role of IT, gaining buy-in for ideas, and ultimately, winning a seat at the table.

During a distinguished career as a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, a Global Practice leader at IBM Consulting, and an entrepreneur who sold his first business (a data warehousing and CRM consultancy) before age 30, Marc has spent more than two decades consulting to the world s leading companies across three continents. Today, Marc is the CEO of Rain Partners LLC, a boutique IT strategy and analytics firm based in Westchester, NY.

He is a sought after speaker, facilitator and consultant. He leads acclaimed, highly rated programs, noted for their energy and engagement, for IT leaders at corporations, professional conferences, and industry associations. His widely read articles on IT leadership are published in several languages on sites around the world.

Marc brings an insider s view and rigorous research to his pioneering work on influential IT leadership. He is passionate about helping IT leaders build influence that makes a difference in their organizations and their careers.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Rain Partners, LLC; 1st edition (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615436285
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615436289
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,681,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The 11 Secrets of Highly Influential IT Leaders

At last! A self-help book for IT executives that dares to speak the truth: most business managers and executives see IT as "not like them" because they feel that most IT staffers perceive the business differently. And while those differences in perception make IT staff valuable to the enterprise, they also make it difficult for IT staff to gain the trust and confidence of key enterprise managers and executives.

I've worked in IT for more than 45 years, in systems development, in systems customer support, in software product management, and as a consultant to fast-tracked executives, inside and outside of IT, who were trying to make things happen within their enterprises.

Everything I read in Marc Schiller's "The 11 Secrets of Highly Influential IT Leaders" rang true to me, resonating with all those years of experience. What really got me excited though, was Marc's ability to absolutely nail, in clear, well-expressed principles, the root causes and dynamics of so much of the dysfunction between IT and the rest of the enterprise.

And it doesn't just end with analysis -- Marc details a step-by-step process for getting everyone in an enterprise's IT organization understanding the way the rest of the business thinks, and being perceived as understanding the way the rest of the business thinks.

This is a must-read book, with a must-implement process, for any IT executive or manager who wants his/her organization to have a real "seat at the table".

Ed Blum
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Format: Hardcover
Years ago, I got into IT for the tech, the tech, and did I mention... the TECH? I'll admit, I'm a tech geek to the bone and it carried me along pretty well for a while - a promotion here, salary bump there, etc. The fact remains that my management skills are lacking as result I've been frozen at senior IT manager for 5+ years. Got this book on a recommendation, fully expecting another time-waster. Needless to say, I finished the book in two sittings!!!

This book is clear, concise, right on target, and for lack of a better word... genuine. It just makes sense! - From real world situations to things you can ACTUALLY DO to move your IT career in the right direction (no general theories or rigid instructions). It's a pleasure to read too...interesting, good voice and very inspiring/empowering for IT folk.

If you're anything like me -- an IT guy stuck somewhere in the middle -- READ THIS BOOK. You'll enjoy it and I bet you it will make a difference. Highly recommend.
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Format: Hardcover
This book will help you see how to build influence with business people from angles you never thought of before. Even the most experienced IT managers will glean insight from the way Marc displays many of his points in dialog format. You get a real sense that Marc has been around the IT block, many times, and his lessons are meaningful to anyone who wants to make it in IT.

It's a book you'll re-read every few years and a great gift to any friend you have that works in tech.
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Format: Hardcover
Yes, this book (as the title says clearly) is for and about IT Leaders. However, I praise it on a different level--a careful reading shows that it's really a book about ethical leadership in general, Marc just happens to relay his story and provide his advice in the arena of IT. True, because of that it is certainly MOST valuable to IT Leaders, or aspiring IT Leaders, or even people who work with IT Leaders ... but Marc's writing is so accessible, so engaging, so peppered with real-life (and realistic) scenarios, that it's very easy to extrapolate how the principles would apply to many different fields. His roadmap is elegantly simple -- 11 steps across building credibility, communicating effectively, and implementing the right way. Each step builds on the last, and the flow is extremely sensible. What it says to me is -- no matter what field you are in, you should:

- Find out what the "table stakes" are for success (secret 1), what you have to offer to even play the game (ex., in IT it's infrastructure)

-Be realistic that failure is not only possible in complex environments, but likely (secret 2)... don't hang your reputation on individual successes

- Don't just thoroughly understand and align with the business goals, but develop business intimacy -- a deep and thorough understanding, a caring about partners, leading to the basis of successful relationships, trust

Those first three secrets in part 1 aren't just for IT ... I'm a musician, and I'm telling you, those three steps can help me land gigs and deal with venue owners. They go beyond IT.

So does section 2, The Essentials of Influential Communication ... It offers useful and solid advice to anyone who needs to establish credibility and clarity in a partnership.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is an easy, breezy read -- not long at all. Actually, stylistically, it is lighter than what I usually read. But it contains a lot of wisdom. I found a few things that I know well, and many that I know unconsciously but Schiller articulated them for me and put them into a framework. Most important, there are insights in the book that I had never thought about at all, leading to actions I can take that will be different from what I have done in the past.

The concept of ne-ma-wa-shi is an excellent example of the wisdom in the book. Ne-ma-wa-shi falls into the category that most of us would probably call expectation management, something that, in my experience, most IT people don't do very well. But ne-ma-wa-shi takes it to a whole new level. The book outlines a new way for IT to relate to and partner with the business while giving some practical steps to take in order to get there.

Another example of where I thought Schiller had a lot to say is the combination of "just say no" and "be skeptical". Everyone in IT from the CIO down to the project manager needs to understand and be a little more honest about what can and cannot be done in a development project with available resources and committed timeline -- and then needs to be more honest with stakeholders, users, the project team, etc. (depending on the level and role of the reader) about where things stand, what can be accomplished, and what shouldn't be started at all.

Each reader will relate to different parts of the book, based on his/her individual experiences and will find different parts to be either commonplaces or insightful. No surprise, since we each bring very different experiences and beliefs to the book. But I'm sure that anyone who faces off with end users and business stakeholders will take away something of value.
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