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February 13 , 2008

The Wolf in CIO's Clothing

A Machiavellian Strategy for Successful IT Leadership


Machiavellians are few in number in IT. The massive pressure on CIOs continues to increase as the opportunities to use technology in business become more prevalent and more competitive. As CIOs often find themselves at the center of business conflict, they must not only familiarize themselves with Machiavellian tactics as a defensive weapon, but also learn to use them as an offensive weapon in extreme situations so that they can increase IT’s contribution to their enterprises.

As Italian political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli implied, you're either predator or prey, and the animal you most resemble determines your position on the food chain. In The Wolf in CIO's Clothing Gartner analyst and author Tina Nunno expands on Machiavelli's metaphor, examining seven animal types and the leadership attributes of each. Nunno posits the wolf — a social animal with strong predatory instincts—as the ideal example of how a leader can adapt and thrive.

Technology may be black and white, but successful leadership demands an ability to exist in the grey. Drawing on her experience with hundreds of CIOs, Nunno charts a viable way to master the Machiavellian principles of power, manipulation, love, and war. Through compelling case studies, her approach demonstrates how CIOs and IT leaders can adjust their leadership styles in extreme situations for their own success and that of their teams.
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