During a recent interview with a CIO I took him through our typical search process which includes asking lots of questions to better understand his qualifications as a viable candidate. This was a very smart guy â€“ no doubt! I was truly impressed in many ways by his answers to my questions as he shared details about his current role and how he had â€œmoved the needleâ€ with some very interesting initiatives he implemented. So far so good. Now another part of the testâ€¦
I asked him (a version) one of my (question #5) killer interview questions. â€œTell me which recent business book you have readâ€? Simple enough question â€“ right? I was floored! His answer went something like this: â€œWell (very long delay) it was probably that Ummmâ€¦The 7 Habits bookâ€¦you know which one Iâ€™m talking about – rightâ€? Yes I do. 1989 vintageâ€¦ I said â€œrecentâ€. Oh boy. I asked him if he was speaking about the great classic by Steven Covey and he nodded his headâ€¦ clearly annoyed by his (very weak) answer. â€œName another one I askedâ€. Ummm well, (still thinking) it was probably â€œThe Greatest Secret in the Worldâ€. Ouch. Wrong answer. Cell phones were not even around when Og Mandino wrote that book. Great book â€“ wrong answer. It was amazing that a â€œCâ€ senior level executive could not name a business book he had read in over 20 years! WOW!
As CIO you should need (and want) to stay current with current business trends and issues. Make a commitment to yourself to adopt a continual learning strategy and become a life-long learner. READ! Especially since you are a â€œCâ€ level executive, the technology leader of your healthcare enterprise with huge strategic responsibilities, an educated IT staff, and the steward of the operating and capital budgets for your IT organization. Itâ€™s not that hard! Câ€™mon! READ!!! If you are not currently reading business books on a regular basis â€“ take action now! Develop a plan and commit to read current business books when you are traveling, on weekends or as an alternative to watching TV (every night).
Reading 2-3 business books a year is a layup! It is not that hard to accomplish. You will learn a ton of new information, stay current with todayâ€™s business strategies and be a better technology executive for your staff and your employer.
Soâ€¦I will ask you â€œWhat is the most recent business book youâ€™ve read latelyâ€?