IT Job DescriptionsTop 10 reasons why CIOs and Managers are terminated

Why are certain CIOs and managers terminated and/or selected for lay-offs and Reductions In Force (RIF)?

Individuals are let go from corporations all the time. The question that many want to know is - Why and whom. Janco has found a series of factors that are primary reasons why this happens to certain CIOs and IT Managers:

  1. Individuals had lost sponsors or support. Many CIOs and managers who are downsized have lost the support of their sponsors. So in that fateful meeting, there was no one to speak up for them. The lesson here is clear. Not only do you need to ask "Who will be your strong advocate?" but it's important to have more than one.

  2. Individuals selected for RIF are not viewed as strategic. The primary factors are that these individuals worked hard but were too heads-down and narrowly focused on immediate operational, technical, or functional issues. Many of these were people with valuable technical or functional expertise. But when times are tough, what most organizations need most are individuals who can create a winning strategy that will ensure competitive advantage.

  3. Individuals are focused on failing projects. If a project is viewed in a negative light or has its budget cut, then CIOs and managers associated with it are more likely to be let go. One of the primary causes of this can, and often is due to a major system failure like a security beach.

  4. Individuals who are not viewed as team players. No one wants to constantly be trying to get a CIO or manager to come over to the group. For example, if everyone wants to implement BYOD and the CIO or manager is a roadblock that makes them a big target in a RIF program

  5. Individuals failed to consistently deliver results. Those who were terminated were rated, poorly on delivering results. These were the people who had missed deadlines, had committed to projects they hadn't delivered or had set the bar too low for others. While they perceived themselves to be working very hard, they looked to everyone else as if they were working on the wrong things and losing effectiveness over time.

  6. Individual's compensation is significantly higher than peers. No matter what the policy is about sharing compensation information, if a CIO or manager is paid significantly more than peers, both in IT and the organization, they are viewed as a source of significant savings.

  7. Individuals do not participate in off-site and/or after-hour events. Work is more than 9 to 5. Relationships that are built on a one-on-one basis are much stronger than those that are just associated with work.

  8. Individuals' ethics or integrity was suspect. Ethical lapses covered a wide range, from failure to comply with company policies, to inappropriate comments or relationships with co-workers, to financial improprieties. These were indications, for the most part not of outright dishonesty but of poor judgment.

  9. Individuals have poor interpersonal skills. People with weak interpersonal skills often are promoted based on their technical ability and then are not able to improve their social skills enough to succeed in their new roles. In some cases, they are viewed as creating a psychically toxic work environment. Companies often wait for a downsizing to get rid of these individuals as many of them are described as brilliant.

  10. Individuals who cannot adapt, both personally and organizationally. There is a strong correlation between managers' willingness to ask for and respond to feedback and their overall effectiveness. In general, the worst managers assume that they're promoted.

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