C-Suite Leadership

What More Does It Take For A CIO To Say "Alright Already"

At some point, you have to take a closer look at a possible solution to a continuous problem. Now is that point.

Scott Smeester


November 3, 2022

Reporter Lucas Mearian recently published an article on why more than half of IT leaders may be looking for a new job. In the article, he references two recent reports which indicate that 53-58% of IT managers are job hunting or expect to do so in the next year.

Though looking and leaving are not the same, the frustration remains: Leaders feel as if they are not as involved in business decisions as they need to be, they are unable to fill key positions, and they want to learn more skills.

Most of all, their two biggest frustrations are employee retention and recruitment. One professional advised that companies need to shift the culture to ensure that employees feel fulfilled, engaged, and motivated.

You Have Got To Be Kidding Me (cue head banging against the wall)

Have you ever known something and had to wait for people to catch up to you?

I believe it was Ann Lamott who said, “I thought such awful thoughts that I cannot even say them out loud because they would make Jesus want to drink gin straight out of the cat dish.” 

Let’s summarize what we learned from Mearian:

  • You are struggling to find and keep employees.
  • You, and those you lead, are not feeling engaged.
  • You, and those you lead, want to grow and be more developed.

I’m not banging my head because I disagree with the findings. It’s that I have been addressing this problem for a couple of years now, and I have proposed the solution, revolutionary as it is, and I have had only a few takers. 

So let me revisit with you:

  • According to multiple reports, the number one reason people leave your company is because of lack of their development. It’s been this way for 11 years in a row.
  • That means that whatever we call training and development isn’t cutting it. And it can’t, because cookie-cutter development doesn’t cut it.
  • You need to customize development and training.
  • You do that by giving employees an advocate, someone who knows how to assess their need, focus their development, resource their training, and keep them fully engaged as they learn the soft skills, professional skills and technical skills needed to elevate their career.
  • The advocate isn’t you. You don’t have the bandwidth. But I can train you and your team in how to build a reproducible system of advocates.
  • Please do not call this coaching or mentoring or peer support. It’s not that. It is some of that and much more. 
  • You will not win this war with a new training or engagement program. You will win this war with a new commitment to a person at a time retention. And the person bringing the person-at-a-time retention/engagement/development is an advocate.

Hey you. Yes you.

I’m not going anywhere. You mean too much to me. I started CIO Mastermind to support technology leaders. You are my passion. I am driven to watch out for you, encourage you, equip you and provide valuable resources to you.

I feel like that person in a movie clinging to the person who is leaving and I have tears streaming down my face and a death grip on your leg as you walk away with me dragging behind you. Yes, it’s that intense. I’m that much for you.

And I ache that you feel your pain and that your employees feel their pain of not being developed and engaged enough, and that you, especially, have to bear the weight of their discontent. 

So I am making you a deal. 

This is my Co-founder’s calendly: https://calendly.com/joewoodruff22/book

Joe Woodruff and I shaped our Advocate strategy, and he has the experience in training and building it with you. I will commit his time to talking to you about what Advocate could look like for you. It is a no-obligation exploration call. 

Less than 30 minutes. That is all it takes for now to see if you can bring an end to your pain. I’m pleading with you, clinging to your leg, to at least take a closer look. 

You can out-retain and out-develop any other department in your company. You can be the favorite executive in the room.

Not that you are in a competition.

But, that you are a leader among leaders.

Lead the advocate way.

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