Technology leadership is a lucky place to be

Technology leadership is a lucky place to be

A warm summer's day, the sun on your back, a beautiful view and time with those most important to you are all great opportunities to reflect. And in reflection, mid-summer is a good time to remember just how fortunate it is to be in the technology industry, particularly if you are one of the fortunate few that has made it to the rarified atmosphere of the C-suite. 

Given the challenges of the world economy, the rise of populist nationalism, growing anger, trade wars and woeful leadership it can be hard to be positive and upbeat, but despite these dark shadows attempting to spoil our summer of fun, technology is that vast horizon you view as you look out from the beach. Because technology is an intrinsic part of the future, posing opportunities and challenges in equal measure each and every day, we rarely reflect just how fortunate it is to be part of this circus. A recent catch up with a CIO friend whose family had suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune certainly brought it home to this CIO and I, the luxury of our position. 

I am happy to report that everyone is on the mend in this CIO's family and that the health professionals, as so often the case, outdid themselves to deliver exemplary care and professionalism.  Many of those health professionals will never see a wage even close to that a business technology leader can command and yet they thrive on doing some of the most challenging work our society requires.

Technology and business technology leadership is a well paid role. It is of course a constantly challenging role that places huge demands on the mental, political and technical abilities of the individuals taking a CIO or CTO position. Nearest and dearest also pay a price, the long hours, the travel and the always-on-alert demands of the job can mean being in the room, but not present. 

But as a well-earned break is taken from the marathon of digital transformation, I will be reflecting on the luck that has led me to this place and how there are those who I may one day rely on who will give every ounce of effort they have for a return that does not reflect the input.

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Mark Chillingworth

Mark Chillingworth is a CIO and CTO journalist, ghost writer, moderator and advisor with over 11 years experience. From 2010 to 2016 he was Editor in Chief of the award-winning CIO UK. In 2011 he created the CIO 100, an annual transformation power list of the UK’s most influential CIOs and launched the UK’s first CIO Podcast in 2016.

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