I finished my leadership development workshop last Friday. Overall, it was a positive experience. I can't really say that I learned anything specific – anything that I feel like I didn’t already have some sense of. What it did do well was to articulate most of the things we might call “business acumen” in a context that exposed levels of importance.
So I got to thinking about leadership, my job, and how I can give myself a gut check on occasion, just to see if I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. From something of a removed perspective, I feel that my most import job is to make sure that the technology used on campus and in our college align with the goals (and vision) of the college. And this is where things have been tricky lately (which I think explains some of my frustration over the past few months): It’s no longer clear to me what the goals and vision of the college are. I can evaluate technologies and perform needs assessments until I’m blue in the face. But if the technologies and solutions I’m proposing don’t align with or support the college’s goals, I’m wasting my time.
I recently read a brief article on what it takes to be a great CIO in higher-ed. The bottom line: you have to understand your college’s academic and business requirements, and you have to know where your college (and in our case, the university) wants to be a decade from now. My challenge is to better understand these requirements, goals, and visions while still providing our staff, students, and faculty with a supportive and innovative computing environment.
I have a performance review coming up. This will be a topic of discussion.