Many C-level executives dream to leave their specific/technical old management job to move to a more general form of management. So CIO aim to leave their IT oriented management to reach a CEO, GM or similar position.

In this article, Carrie Mathews writes about some studies on this topic. It’s a bit long but there are interesting ideas like the following three they get analyzing assessments of 25000 executives in the Egon Zhender Database:

  1. People and Organizational Development scores are relatively low for all types of executives assessed, particularly CFOs.
  2. Outstanding CIO scores slightly surpass good CEO scores on most competencies.
  3. Outstanding CEOs —the most well-rounded strategic leaders —perform significantly better than outstanding CIOs only in Market Knowledge and External Customer Focus.

I’m not surprised by 2 and 3 (even if 3 has to make me think), I’m more surprised on 1 and what Mathews call ‘the Management Vacuum‘:

When it comes to People and Organizational Development, from the CEO on down, C-level executives are relatively poor performers. […] The CEOs I spoke with are definitely aware of the need to focus more of their attention on people development

So what about all this ‘people is the key‘ buzzword that’s been written / said / communicated around?