…manipulation is more appropriate than influence and honesty.
from “The Wolf in CIO’s Clothing”
by Tina Nunno, Vice-President and Distinguished Analyst
in Gartner’s CIO Research Group
“In certain situations,” is the context for this quote. The Prince by Machiavelli is the basis for the philosophy. The Machiavellian CIO at work is the methodology.
Much research went into this book – it arises from none other than Gartner. And I am not here to argue with the research – it is probably 100% accurate through and through.
That’s what makes refuting it so easy.
If your goal is to succeed and you define success by personal advancement in fame, fortune, and power, then this book and its research are for you.
But if your definition of success is to improve the lives of your employer, clients, colleagues, and employees, then you need another book entirely.
You don’t buy a book of cheats on how to master the video game All Zombies Must Die if your goal is to cook a gourmet meal for friends and relatives.
I have no desire to assemble an arsenal of Machiavellian weapons, carry them into the workplace for a first-person-manipulation rampage while viewing all around me as zombies over whom I alone must reign victorious.
My job as a CIO is to cook a gourmet meal of technology, content, and user experience that satisfies the hunger of all of the good people who have and still do make my job a privilege.
The role of the CIO is to be a hero that rescues everyone else, not the villain that devours everyone in his path.
Machiavelli may provide direction, but not in the direction I want to go. I prefer to remember the words below and all others that echo along with them…
With great power there must also come – great responsibility.
You go ahead and be the wolf in CIO’s clothing if you want. I’m going as Spider-man.