What Do You Need to Know to Get Ahead?

That’s the magic question, isn’t it?  Of course, it assumes you have to know something to get ahead.  That’s a reasonable assumption, but surely you have those moments as I do where you shake your head and wonder “how did this guy become a billionaire?”  But let’s shelve that discussion and be real worldish for a few paragraphs more.

What do you need to know?


Well, the March 2011 HBR has an article about the skills that executives need to hone to reach the next level.  It’s worth reading.  The authors say that C-level jobs are evolving and they offer specific insights for the CIO, CFO, etc.

No, I’m not going to summarize everything for you in this post.  But allow me to whet your appetite by listing a few bullets under the CIO category:

  • Able to view the business holistically (i.e., across functions, regions, etc.)
  • Process orientation
  • Able to help the business sort through and use information
  • Knowledgeable about ROI and investment decisions

What?  You don’t want to be a CIO?  Okay, then here are a few other bullets for other C-level positions.

  • A somewhat reduced focus on accounting
  • Increased focus on strategic thinking
  • Business acumen (i.e., business cluefulness)
  • Sophisticated technology know-how (for C-level marketing and sales, my friends)
  • Crisis and reputation management skills
  • Ability to collaborate

I hope these themes sound familiar to you, because we are working hard to make them, and others, integral to IEM.



by Don Appleby. Connect with Don here.