Adventures of an IT Leader
Ronald Kerremans rates The Adventures of an IT Leader four out of five butterflies. It is interesting reading if you are in an IT management role of any kind. In a narrative style the writers tell the story of Jim Barton who is appointed as CIO after a new turn-around CEO joins the financial company (IVK) he works for. Jim has no IT management experience at all but was a very hard criticaster of the former CIO when he was still in his job as business leader of Loan Operations with IVK. In readable chapters, all kinds of challenges come by e.g., how to deal with the current management, knowledgably personnel (but hard to steer), expectations of the business, innovation or how to deal with “not favorite” projects like life cycle management. But also, a real crisis and how to deal with the crisis is very realistic written. During the book Jim writes down some nice quotes or models on his whiteboard, which is becoming more and more a one-paper document with useful tips. Jim is using his girlfriend Maggy, management consultant and “the kid” (a guy of a nearby bar) as a sounding board. The book ends every chapter with a few questions on which you reflect the learning elements offered. And the book in total ends with some suggestions on how you can use the book as learning material. My personal take away: know what you don’t know. Accept you cannot own all knowledge but be aware which blind spots you have and act accordingly.