Last Friday, we hosted a Virtual Think IT Panel Event on Where Are They Now? Learn why these IT executives who all have something in common have all achieved great things in their respective careers! A huge thank you to our panelists, Adrian Butler, CIO at Casey’s General Stores, Inc., Paul Novak, Chief Technology Officer at Community Health Systems, Sridhar Koneru, VP of Information Technology, CIO at Winnebago, and Marc Kermisch, Global CIO at CNH Industrial for sharing their career journeys with the group. Thank you to everyone who joined us as well! 

Below you will find an overview of the most popular questions from our members and a summary of what was discussed. 

What are the challenges of the CIO role? 

As much as a challenge COVID was for businesses, it was also a time for them to shine. CIOs really recognized the need for technology during that time. They had new roles coming, and the CIOs needed to figure out how do you elevate the value of their position and why it is important. Speed to market and how companies deliver to make a profit was something that CIOs were focusing on. As a CIO, you should think of yourself as a business leader first.  

Nobody likes to talk about career planning mistakes. Do you have any mistakes– or decisions you wish you had back in terms of your career trajectory? 

Some of these leaders wished that they had made some key decisions differently. They realized they might have stayed at a company too long, and they were hitting the ceiling on learning experiences. Staying in a space too long can become straining, and staying in one role too long can be perceived differently by other companies. As a leader, it’s also important to recognize when someone on your team needs to move on.  

How should people prioritize what is most important to them when choosing a new role? 

What’s important to people is different for everyone. Be self-aware of where your own gaps are, and be planful on where you have gaps in your experiences. If you are looking to move up to the next level, look at what you need to do to get you there and what others have done to get there as well.  

Questions to consider when looking for a new role and/or leaving your current role: 

  1. Who am I working for? 
  2. Am I going to learn?
  3. Does their company culture align with my values? 

A key takeaway that the panelists left everyone with was to know your skills and think about impacting and fulfilling your experience.