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Straight to the Top: Becoming a World-Class CIO Hardcover – 26 Apr 2006


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"…should be required reading for all present or aspiring CIOs." ( eweek , December 25, 2006)

From the Inside Flap

Preparing for the role of chief information officer (CIO) takes careful planning, strategy, and knowledge: What does a CEO look for in a CIO? What is the difference between a CIO and a CTO? How do you learn the business and build key relationships? Straight to the Top: Becoming a World–Class CIO is an essential guide to help information technology (IT) and business professionals recognize the qualities necessary to attain the role of first–time CIO and strategically plan their career moves. This vital road map for success offers a rare view, from the executive recruiter′s perspective, of the traits top search firms are looking for in CIO candidates. Becoming a CIO requires a solid skill set from the candidate, including significant technical proficiency, business acumen, and an exceptional ability to communicate meaningfully. Most importantly, the CIO′s success is measured in an ability to decode IT into usable ideas and solutions that work in tandem with the goals of the business. Straight to the Top expertly coaches aspiring CIOs on building up these requisite skills with "insider information" from leading CIOs and author Gregory Smith′s own observations throughout his twenty years of experience working in the IT field—most recently, as a CIO. Based on advisory research, case studies, and interviews with a variety of CIOs, executive recruiting firms, and sales professionals, this proactive book is strategically divided into two parts. Part One—Building the Necessary Skills and Relationships—discusses the prospective CIO′s need to: Communicate exceptionally and effectively Translate IT–speak into business terms Understand business users and their needs Build effective relationships outside of the IT "glass house" Part Two—Preparing for the Role of the CIO—builds on the fundamentals discussed in the first half of the book and examines: The key skills employers and search firms require in a CIO The need to think like a CFO and act like a CIO How to balance the risks and rewards encountered while moving up the IT ladder What to expect once you land your first CIO position Useful to academic institutions with degrees and programs in information systems, Straight to the Top equips CIO candidates with a straightforward course of action to the corner office in becoming a world–class CIO.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
Before I jump into a discussion on why technology skills matter for technology executives today, I thought that it would be helpful to first clarify the difference between a chief information officer (CIO) and a chief technology officer (CTO) and provide a summary of both the recent evolution of the CIO role and the current state of the CIO profession. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 13 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Excellent career guide!!! 25 Sept. 2006
By C. Francis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
When I was offered the job of CIO, I only had 1 week to prepare for the interview. I purchased this book immediately based on the exerpts that I read on line. What an amazing and helpful book. Mr. Smith's pointers and recommendations helped me tremendously! It assisted in preparing me for the interview and even though I am now working as a CIO I still review it. I liked his points on the IT Governance Structure document - somthing that I plan to put in place here, I also read with interest his tips on the first 100 days in the job. I also like the statistical data that were included in each chapter. What was also particularly helpful were his personal experience. I like how the book gives direction to aspiring CIOs and new CIOs. I highly recommend this book.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
More credible than informative 7 Sept. 2006
By Jaewoo Kim - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The information contained in this book are not exactly revolutionary. You want to be a CIO? Get an MBA from top notch school, be technically proficient, get project management experience, work on large scale projects, get experience with large scale budgets, and work on your soft (communication and interpersonal) skills.

What sets this book apart from other books with similar title is the source of its information. They are from CIOs and recruiters who have experience placing CIOs.

Too often, many books on becoming a CIO are based on guesses and speculations of the authors who do not have full comprehension of the topic. The author of this book purposely does not use his own conclusions, he merely gathers information and analyze them in an objective fashion.

If you want to read a book on becoming a CIO based on a solid research and survey of relevant professionals, then this book will provide credible, albeit common sense, suggestions.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A must read for IT professionals! 14 April 2006
By Anne Topp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Straight to the Top is required reading for anyone aspiring to a senior IT management position.

In his book, Smith offers solid advice and practical steps to prepare for the CIO role.The author not only relays his own real world career experiences on his climb to the top but cites CIO colleagues and executive recruiters on the skills and experiences needed to grow an IT career. He fortifies his insight with survey results from Forrester and CIO magazine. Smith laces telling personal anecdotes throughout the book which makes it immensely readable.

He ends each chapter with a "What I Did to Prepare" and "Recommendations" which detail actions you can take to prepare for your next promotion.

Smith's Straight to the Top is a roadmap to a top IT position. For anyone in IT, this book is an investment in your future.

Its practical step-by-step approach makes it a valuable tool for any professional. With its sound, solid advice it answers the questions we all ask: What do I need to do to advance my career? I know it has inspired and motivated me to take the next steps to go after my career dreams.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Upcoming CIO 31 Aug. 2006
By T. D. Prado - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My first CIO book and this made me more excited to get my first CIO position. Good format, excellent recommendations and in-depth knowledge of the CIO position.

You gave good feedback on how to improve skill sets of managers looking to become the next CIO. I like the detailed recommendation you gave to get there but some of the graphics need improvement. Overall, I'm very satisfied with the book and i'll work on my network and hopefully find that mentor I've been looking for all these years...Greg you're on my list!!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Very helpful with lots of insight 10 Jan. 2007
By Alwyn Ng - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I'm not too sure about current CIOs, but this book proves to be very informative and concise for a junior IT executive like me aiming for the top IT post. Unlike some IT books which focus on stories and leaving you to ponder how you can relate to them, this gem of a book addresses key issues and tells you straight to the point what CIOs of established companies feel and how they react to these issues. In addition, Smith has given his own input and experience in the form of easy-to-follow guidelines which anyone can put to use immediately.

I'm glad I did not miss this book.
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