Stick or Twist?

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We all want to ‘get to the top’, don’t we? Of course, what that actually means will be different for each of us. A recent LinkedIn post told of someone who refused another step on the ladder because they were perfectly happy and content with their role and remuneration in their current company. They loved the business. They had reached their ‘top’.

For a number of us – and certainly many of those reading this blog – getting to ‘the top’ will be gainfully and successfully employed as a CIO at a reputable, well-respected company where we can make a contribution and be recognised for doing so. The challenge is, of course, that there are more of us than those ‘ideal’ roles, which means compromise is only going to manifest itself in one place… More often than not we take a smaller CIO role, or an IT Director post and pretend we’re a CIO, or we play out of position and down a rung, or we try and make it as some kind of ‘consultant’. We jump to the supplier side of the fence. We try to reinvent ourselves…

I’ve always wanted to be a CIO. I think have the profile to do so. I’ve run a big outfit – in terms of budget and people – had lots of international exposure and some global responsibility. My industry experience is varied and people – by and large! – love working for me. And yet the knock at the door has never come, and when I push at it some Joker has stuck a wedge underneath it on the other side.

I was thinking about this scenario, where I am and where I want to be. And then I saw that LinkedIn post about someone being happy where they were…and I thought that perhaps, just perhaps, there is a narrow rung on the ladder – a professional role all of it’s own, if you will – for the great ‘Number 2’. The guy the CIO leans on who can turn his hand to just about everything; the Confidant, the ‘go to guy’; the Strategist, the Pragmatist; the trustworthy, the ‘safe pair of hands’… That sounds like a pretty good job to me..! And actually, I wonder if – like the LinkedIn guy who’d found his ‘top’ – this is where some of us ought to aspire to be.

Interesting thought. Stick or twist?

Ian Gouge

An inspirational Information Technology Director, passionate about service delivery and people engagement, with wide-ranging experience majoring on steering IT transformational change at Director level. Proven track record in managing large IT functions and budgets, with major successes in organisational redesign, service improvement, programme and solutions’ delivery, and strategy definition and execution. Accomplished in Customer and Supplier engagement, and with an extremely broad International exposure. Over 10 years' experience as an IT Director, including 6+ years for a FTSE 100 company.

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