Let’s go back forty years. You walk into your new job on day 1. You do what’s expected, work hard and you earn a promotion. Rinse and repeat until you become “the person.” Forty years later, you walk out of that company with a nice new watch, a pension and a good retirement.
No surprise here: those days are over.
Management roles are scarce. Management roles with the best companies even more scarce. Getting ahead today is harder than ever. And here's a secret: reducing downtime by a fraction of a percent year-over-year isn’t going to get you the job you want.
Your ability to land the job you want relies on this secret: get out of the weeds.
We’re not telling you that someone shouldn’t be minding the details. But that someone cannot be you. You need to find someone to do that for you and keep you up to date on the big picture. You also have to empower your team to solve problems that occur with the smaller details.
To get ahead, you need to change your focus. The best CIOs aren’t the best coders. The best CIOs aren’t programming AI bots. The best CIOs are working with lines of business to figure out how these shifts in technology can be leveraged to provide competitive advantages.
Your days of being a SME are over. Don’t get us wrong, you need to invest in AI and machine learning. You need to have a good understanding of these technologies and hire SMEs on your team that keep you up to date. But if you’re spending all of your time trying to become that SME? You aren’t spending time trying to understand the business applications. And it will cost you the ability to continue on your career path. Becoming a strategic leader means you have to let go of some of the details.
That’s the new role of today's CIO. You must help lines of business make the connection between new technologies and how it can help them. There are too many CIOs who are former SMEs, touting their ability to improve uptime by fractions of percentages. If you want to differentiate yourself and bring real value to an organization? Show them how to leverage new technology.
If you want to get ahead? You have to rise above the weeds.