From CIO Magazine, by Abbie Lundberg
“It’s wet. We’re into the seventh day of the great New England downpour of 2006. There’s well over a foot of rain flooding roads and fields and basements. Rain makes me reflective, and today I’m looking back on last month’s CIO Leadership Conference.
The conference was a mix of inspiration, great networking and practical advice. We opened with a talk by author and historian David McCullough, closed with a practicum from Harvard professor Joseph Badaracco on how to handle ethical dilemmas, and in between there were terrific sessions with Harvard icon Warren McFarlan, Royal Caribbean CIO Tom Murphy and loads of other accomplished practitioners.
Thinking back on what I heard, a few things stand out. Here are my top 10:
10. ‘Failure is not an option’ (once uttered by Apollo 13 project leader Gene Krantz). This, according to McCullough, was one of George Washington’s defining traits. No matter what mistakes he made, he didn’t let his disappointment in himself discourage him. Thinking about Washington in those terrible days of 1776 gave me a whole new perspective on the word dis-courage.
9. The kind of organization you’re in determines what kind of leader you need to be. McFarlan’s example of the challenges (successfully) faced both by Pete Solvik, CIO at Cisco when the company was in hypergrowth mode, and Brad Boston, Cisco’s CIO since 2002, was a great illustration of how different business conditions require different skills. It also highlighted the futility of defining a single ideal CIO profile.”
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