IT Executives Personality Traits and Motivators
CIOs are like other C-suite executives at a basic level--ambitious and hard-working. However, they tend to be technically-oriented and typically do not have the best soft skills. They are more fearful of losing their jobs than others in leadership roles and tend to be driven by that fear.
IT PEOPLE FOR LIFE
- The average CIO is a 43-year old male who has been a CIO for five years. Typically, he has worked in the IT function all his life and has no aspiration to switch out of it. Sixty-four percent CIOs enjoy the scope and responsibilities of their role.
- Half the CIOs have a degree in IT and only 10% have an MBA. Many CIOs have underdeveloped soft skills and acknowledge the same. They tend to fall short on leadership and communication skills.
- Sixty-four percent of CIOs see the role as an end-destination itself; 63% of other C-suite executives have a similar perception of CIOs.
- Thirty-five percent of CIOs don't have a career strategy. A poll by E&Y found that one in three CIOs want to move to a larger and more powerful CIO role.
LIKE OTHER C-SUITES AT A BASIC LEVEL
- At a basic level, they are like any other C-suite executives: driven by self-interest and looking to fulfill their organizational objectives.
- CIOs are highly motivated and very hard-working. They want to be the best they can be and succeed in their jobs.
- CIOs are mature men in leadership positions who are not vocal about or willing to recognize their weaknesses and fears.
- CIOs know and understand that perception is 90% of reality. They are aware that they are likely to do well if they are perceived as talented. CIOs want to be regarded as successful CIOs.
CIOS ARE MORE WORRIED ABOUT FAILURE
- CIOs have tenures shorter than other C-suite executives. They are more likely to be concerned about losing their jobs.
- A Booz Allen study found that one in three CIOs are forced out of their jobs. In 70% of such cases, the failure of a large IT project was the primarily reason. Big IT projects can either make or break their careers.
- Fifty-four percent CIOs strongly believe that managing a large business transformation played an important part in them becoming CIO.
- Another major reason for a CIO to get fired is a security breach. A study found that "43% of CEOs would fire their CIO if there was a security breach from a tech investment".
- Loss aversion, a behavioral psychology concept, applies to CIOs. They are more fearful of loss than they are enthusiastic about gain. Marketers who sell something that can help a CIO avoid a major error on a large IT project are likely to succeed.
- Accenture has a campaign that is based on the insight that CIOs are afraid of losing their jobs. They target new CIOs and help them prepare for the first 120 days to avoid failures.
IT MANAGERS LIKE THE STATUS QUO
- Other than the CIO, IT products or services require to be sold to business executives and IT staff. IT managers have the power to veto purchase decisions.
- IT managers are well-informed individuals who read a lot and are up-to-date on all developments in their field. They are skeptical of the pushy salesperson who is biased towards a particular solution set and prefer those who have a more consultative approach.
- IT managers do not like change as it puts them at a risk for failure and subsequently losing their job. However, they are often willing to try the newest and latest to upgrade their skills.
- IT managers are not always acting in the best interest of the organization. As job security is a concern to them selling new solutions can be difficult even if they align with organizational objectives.
- Even the most cynical CIOs are influenced by recommendations made by right influencers on social media.
- Seventy-two percent CIOs strongly believe that "building relationship and trust with internal stakeholders" played an important role in helping them get to where they are.
The personality traits and motivators of IT executives are likely to have not changed significantly in recent years. Information in sources that are up to five years old has been used as it is still likely to be relevant. It is understood that the personality and motivations of IT leaders are required to market/sell products or services to them. The insights have been provided based on that perspective.