Why CIOs should embrace the ‘reality of power’

Tina Nunno, vice president and Gartner Fellow in Gartner’s CIO Research group, sat down with the Women of Washington radio show to discuss CIO-related leadership issues and organizational politics.

On her advice to CIOs to learn and practice Machiavellian techniques as part of their management strategies, Nunno said, “CIOs and IT leaders are at risk because they’ve been told they’re service providers, aka followers … That model simply doesn’t work anymore.”

Photo by Gigi Schumm

Nunno also said that it’s important for CIOs to embrace the “reality of power,” namely that “power in the hands of good people is an amazing thing.”

Nunno explained to Women of Washington hosts Aileen Black and Gigi Schumm how her background in history and public administration have helped her think creatively when working in the IT sector.

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“Because I didn’t grow up in IT, I’m not wedded to assumptions that many people who have been in the industry have, so I try to challenge them,” Nunno said.

Nunno discussed her success as the analyst sponsor of the Gartner Women’s CIO Community, and why it’s such an important resource for women in senior tech positions to have.

“For so many women in leadership, people come to them when they want something, and we realized that women needed a community that was just about and for them,” she said. “What women often say in the CIO set is that ‘the more senior I become, the more I’ve realized I’m female.'”

Also in this interview, Nunno talked about how growing up the child of Italian immigrants pushed her to succeed, and how her “foolish stubbornness” has allowed her to go far in life by allowing her to ask, “Why not?”

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