Five Mentors Every CIO Needs - Page 2

Feb 20, 2009

Patty Azzarello

A mentor who has a bigger, different network can help you in countless ways. Make sure to ask your mentors to connect you with others, and then be generous and be appreciative. Offer to help them as well. And for all the places that you qualify as a mentor, make sure you mentor others.




Finally, you can’t have too many smart people in your life. Spending time with people you learn from is a big part of creating success. What are your personal learning agendas? What learning agendas do you have for your organization? What do you want to be better at next year than you are now? How do you plan to get there?


Find people who are ahead of you, either in their career, their business, or in the maturity of their IT organization. Learn what they do. Learn what they think. Bring them into your staff meetings as special guest stars.


Look for people who are:


       10-15 years ahead of you career-wise – they can help you navigate the land mines and work through the unspoken rules.

       2-3 phases ahead of you in IT maturity – it’s critical to see where you want to be.


       Work at an order of magnitude bigger scope or geography – learn processes and techniques that help you do more, or do better with less.


Getting Mentors


Don’t get hung up on the term “mentor”. Just buying a coffee for someone you can learn from, and getting the benefit of there time is the important part. However, if you can formalize it to the extent that you both acknowledge that they care about your success over time, the benefits multiply. So, when you come across a relationship with a potential mentor that sparks, close the deal!


Check list: Do you have your 5 mentors?


       A board member or CEO

       A leader in a different industry

       A twenty-something, web 2.0 guru

       A master networker

       A career guide 15 years your senior


Patty Azzarello became the youngest general manager ever at HP at the age of 33. She ran HP's $1B OpenView software business at the age of 35, and was the CEO of an IT software company, Euclid Software at the age of 38. Today, Patty is CEO of Azzarello Group, a unique services organization that helps companies develop and motivate their top performers, execute their strategies, and grow their business.

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