Getting the top job in any organization is often more about style than substance.
For those CIOs looking to take on the role of top dog in their organizations, the skills that make them good CIOs may not be the skills they need to achieve this goal.
While reaching the role of CIO is a significant achievement on its own, for some, key behavioral skills, rather than intellectual abilities, can be traced to the success or failure of these ambitions, according to a new study by Korn/Ferry International, a provider of executive search, outsourced recruiting and leadership development solutions.
The study, CIO to CEO — Aspiring CIOs Should Focus on Critical Behavior Skills, suggests that behavior style rather than intellectual ability prevents many CIOs from moving into general management positions such as CEO or COO.
While preparing this paper, Korn/Ferrys IT Center of Expertise examined the observable behavioral differences, including leadership and thinking styles as well as emotional competencies, between CIOs, CEOs and COOs.
”This is all about behavioral skills. This is not technical expertise or knowledge,” said Mark Polansky, a senior client partner in Korn/Ferrys New York office and leader of the IT Center of Expertise in North America. ”Is one’s style open, collaborate, social or closed and introspective? Does one deal well with ambiguity? Does one deal well with problem solving? Those are all behavioral skills and behavioral skills that can be learned as well.”