How to go from Developer to CTO

An (overly) ambitious title for the post notwithstanding, Simon Dowling offers a fair number of actionable insights on this quick read on the Venturi Group blog, including this:

As a CTO you are not there just to further your own agenda, not to just ‘look good’, but to drive the company forward as a whole. You are the single person others look to for decisions on short-term, tactical matters as well as plans for long-term, strategic goals.
 
Nobody is perfect. And trying to be perfect is not your job. Your job is to make informed decisions using the information at hand. Or in cases where there isn’t enough information, to set about collecting more so that a decision can be made….

….the easiest way to train this skill is to be forced to make these kinds of decisions in front of others.

Don’t let the dangerously innocuous pandas maul your career

A firm warning about career blind spots from the Harvard Business Review couched in an amusing metaphor.

Having assessed over 2,000 CEOs and over 18,000 C-suite leaders since 1995, we are struck by how often careers of talented executives stall or even derail because of seemingly trivial issues, many of which are utterly fixable. We call these types of issues “pandas.” Pandas look innocent, but their powerful jaws deliver a bite stronger than a jaguars’. Pandas can be painfully costly to individuals whose careers stall for reasons unbeknownst to them and to organizations and managers unable to develop talented leaders to their full potential.

Elena Lytkina Botelho and Katie Semmer Creagh