This month I continue my thoughts on leadership. My premise is that there is a lot of value left on the table in corporate information technology today. That value comes in the form of useful yet underutilized new areas of technology, infrastructure well past the “born-on” date and finally a lack of integration among projects, staff and data. Information professionals will keep chipping away at these opportunities, but the prime mover for real improvement could come from leadership. I have been able to examine and contribute to the core of many leading IT organizations over the years. Whether overtly recognized as such or not, leadership is the highest factor correlated to success, and the lack thereof is correlated to failure.

I was fortunate enough to study under and serve on a board for Barry Posner, co-author with James Kouzes of The Leadership Challenge and Credibility. Posner and Kouzes use the Vance Packard definition of leadership: the art of getting others to want to do something that you are convinced should be done. Leadership is the ability to impress, guide and challenge people toward common goals. I’ve had the training, but, like most people, I have experienced leadership gains only from on-the-job training (OJT). I strive to make progress every day and hope this column is an inspiration for you in your leadership growth.

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