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DOWNLOA IT managers share 15 complaints about CIOs

By JodyGilbert ·

After you take a look at this download, please post your feedback, ideas for improvements, or further thoughts on this topic.

--The TechRepublic Downloads Team

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by amcol In reply to DOWNLOAD: IT managers sha ...

OK, admittedly I have a biased point of view since I am a CIO/CTO.

However...I don't have to read this document to hate it already. Not because of anything it says (I did read it, and I actually agree with some of it), but because of its orientation.

It's so, so easy to complain. We all love to do it. It's fun, it's cathartic, we get to vent. And then it's over. Instant, momentary gratification. Did we learn anything? Has anything improved?

It didn't occur to you geniuses at TR that a document entitled "IT Managers Share 15 Qualities of High Performance CIO's" would do your customer base a MUCH better service?

How about equal time for those of us in the executive suite? Are you planning on coming out with something called "CIO's Share 15 Complaints About Deadbeat, Whiny, Incompetent, Irresponsible, Feel-I'm-Entitled-To-Everything Employees"?

I've long maintained that good management skills and good parenting skills are very consistent with each other. That's not to say managers should be parental to their employees, nor that parents should manage their kids. It simply means that the skills set that makes one good at either overlaps greatly. I've found that both my employees and my children respond far more enthusiastically to positive reinforcement than to negative. So other than providing all of us a chuckle as well as something we can look at and say, "Yeah, my doofus CIO is just like that", what educational enlightenment have you provided us with?

Maybe you could provide people with a framework they could emulate, rather than a prescription for failure? Did it also occur to any of you that documents like this only serve to accentuate and validate the growing gulf between management and workers? Shouldn't TR exercise some professional responsibility of its own and do whatever it can to encourage the two sides to come together, not grow further apart?

Thanks a lot. On behalf of all of us.

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I wonder about the process of article review

by j.lupo In reply to Auugghhhh!!!

I know TR wants to get more people involved in contributing in different ways. I appreciate your comments amcol because you do what we all need to. Try to turn a negative to positive.

Ok, get your moment of gratification to releive the stress, then take all those points that you just made and see how they can be fixed. How can they be changed? Do you have any influence on their changing? And so many other points.

Perhaps with articles, including downloads, there should be some sort of peer review process. Not as strict as with academic literature, but to check that the content fits with the mission of TR. Just an opinion.

Oh, and I would be willing to be a peer-reviewer for articles. :)

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Great idea

by amcol In reply to I wonder about the proces ...

All the major technical print publications have peer review boards. I've served on a couple of them myself, and I can state from personal experience they work, especially when publishers want to produce a high quality product that serves the needs of its readership.

Your message is a good one...TR is having a bit of an identity crisis. Or, maybe it should be having one. What do you want to be, TR? Just a place where the tech community can come to discuss whatever and get a few superficial, sophomoric, limited value downloads? Or an online forum providing high quality material?

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When I first came to TR

by j.lupo In reply to Great idea

I was attracted by an article that was describing research that a manager had done. It was a really good article and I got approval to use it in my studies. I would really like to see more articles on that level. Unbiased, providing help, guidence, direction, insights, and so on.

Today when I read some of the articles, it looks almost like a comment on another article posted in the media. I am not suggesting an academic level review process, but something a little more balanced and original then restating what others have written about in the media on the hot topic of the moment.

We can have those media related comments too. :) I attempted to start a few discussions along those lines. So much knowledge here at TR. How to put it all out there is the question.

I think there have been great strides in improving the site. Perhaps this request can go on the "wish list"

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Thanks for your input on this

by jasonhiner Moderator In reply to When I first came to TR

To both j.lupo and amcol I'd like to say thanks for providing input to help us improve the downloads on our site. We'll definitely consider your peer review idea (we've actually been throwing around similar ideas for several years). I'll put the two of you on the short list of members that are interested in this type of peer review. Thanks again.

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That's what we are here for.

by j.lupo In reply to Thanks for your input on ...

It is up to all of us members to let those of you working hard at TR know what we want. We should also be willing to contribute in some way. I know we are all busy, but if we each take an interest than TR can be almost everything to everyone and meet all our needs.

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Generating solutions

by JodyGilbert In reply to Auugghhhh!!!

Hi amcol,
Thanks for your comments. Your point is well taken, but I think we're not quite as far off the mark as it maybe seems with this content. I'm actually an advocate of a certain amount of venting partly because it's cathartic but mainly because it sets the stage for members to share their experiences with peers, to realize they're not the only beleagured techs in the industry, and ultimately to recommend/discover solutions.

My hope is that a lot of members will jump in and have insights such as "I had the same communications problem with my boss but it greatly improved after we..." -- etc. This kind of dialog tends to morph into the kind of positive, actionable material you're describing, I think, with the added bonus of grass-roots credibility. (One example: Becky Roberts' follow-up to "The top ten peeves of a support tech" [], in which she presents her ideas for resolving the problems she'd previously identified.) Anyway, I completely agree that there needs to be more to come on this topic, with the aim of improving workplace relationships and allowing staff and management to understand each other better and to work effectively together. Thanks again for your thoughts.

--Jody Gilbert
TechRepublic Downloads Team

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Continuous Improvement

by mburtt In reply to Generating solutions

An interesting article, very interesting responses and perhaps a catalyst to initiate change. Vent first, then roll up the sleeves and work toward the solution. I agree with your "Generating Solutions" post: "?morph into positive, actionable material".

Weak leadership skills are not the exclusive domain of the Executive. My career has afforded me the opportunity to wear many hats; from tech to senior manager but the hat I enjoyed most was that of change agent, the ?Quality guy?; helping companies from hi-tech to heavy manufacturing explore leadership and learn the strengths that build cohesive teams. And one constant throughout all those industries: effective leadership and motivation skills and are an undervalued commodity at all levels of North American industries. It is a fact of human behavior, that we observe and emulate our leaders. If my manager behaves a certain way, then I better darn well learn to behave in that manner if I wish to be successful here. Leadership starts with the CEO and permeates down through the ranks. Good and bad, we learn from above, and I would give odds that the managers who have offered these constructive criticisms have themselves been at times guilty of similar conduct.

The good news is help is available. We can learn how to lead and motivate. There are professional organizations such as American Management Association who promote and provide education for advanced leadership skills. Our challenge is not how to change, it is when to change. Where will we begin motivating our leadership to value and promote those skills that serve to make us a more effective and cohesive team from the top down?

Great leaders = Great company = Great success = Great economy. It all begins with our leaders.


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Dangerous waters

by amcol In reply to Continuous Improvement

I disagree with your statement that "It is a fact of human behavior, that we observe and emulate our leaders", or at least the second half of it. Yes, we absolutely do observe, we absolutely do not as a fact emulate them.

If that were true then the entirety of the business world would be composed of clones. Rather, humans follow the adopt/adapt/adept model...we adopt those qualities we admire and wish we had ourselves, we adapt our personalities and approaches to those qualities, and we become adept at them over the course of time. Most of us have the misfortune of working for people at least once in our careers who are either diametrically opposite ourselves, or are (to be blunt) complete jerks. Those "leaders" are not emulated...rather, we use them as a paradigm of what not to do. When life with these folks becomes intolerable we move on.

Your equation quantifying greatness is also suspect. It's true to a point, but only to the point you BEGINS with great leadership. It is not an absolute that great leadership inevitably leads to highly motivated, highly productive, high performing teams that ultimately create economic growth. It's a key ingredient, perhaps THE key ingredient, but it's not a panacea.

Working your equation backward leads to other interesting conclusions, which is to say a great economy doesn't necessarily start with great leadership. Look at the period 1995-2000...economic growth out the wazoo, but hardly a period in the business cycle I'd hold up to historical scrutiny as one exemplifying great leadership.

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by j.lupo In reply to Dangerous waters

And how do people define leadership and great leaders. I have been studying this particular topic for a long time. Do we think someone is a great leader because theya re a movie star? a sports figure? a business tycoon? a nation's president?

In my opinion, leaders are defined by those who follow them and the outcomes of their leadership. They don't do great deeds to be noticed, they do them because the deed needs doing. That doesn't mean they are altuistic or anything like that. However, you will find that real leaders are not easily defined, but are described by their accomplishments.

Another point, people do not learn to be leaders. Leaders hone their leadership abilities through experience and training. Bennis (2001) said that we cannot pop in John and Jane Q Public to leadership school and out comes a "McLeader".

I know quite a few people who are managers, but are not leaders. I know CEO's, CIO's, SVPs, all the way to the Tech in the field that are not leaders and will never be even with the best training. Why? Because leaders (real leaders) have something undefinable that tells them when, how, where, and why to do different leadership things and be successful.

Sure they fail too, but they learn from their failures.

This is all just my opinion based on my experience and reading and continued desire to grow speaking. I am sure the leadership debate will continue for many decades to come.

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