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By eweek  |  Posted 2002-07-29 Print this article Print

: Training Your Way to the Top"> "More than ever, new CIOs are being promoted into the top jobs from regional positions or lower divisions, and they need to come up to speed quickly on the technical and business issues theyll be facing," said Ellen Kitzis, vice president of executive programs at Gartner Inc. in Framingham, Mass. "Were also seeing a tremendous number of CIOs who are coming in from the business side of the organization—about one-third of all new CIOs—and they have a steep learning curve as well." Gartner will be piloting its own CIO training course in September. Kitzis described the CIO Leadership Camp as a sort of intensive boot camp. No price has been set for the course as yet; more information can be found at

The CIO training programs now appearing can have personal and professional benefits and appeal to upper-level IT managers aspiring to the top job, as well as to those already in the hot seat. An executive course such as Pink Elephants or Gartners has several advantages over a full-fledged or executive MBA degree, even one with an IT focus: It takes less time away from the job, costs less and focuses more on practical problem solving than on theory.

Still, there are many fast-track IT managers who think success as a CIO will never be tied to earning another piece of paper.

"The most successful IT managers I know arent necessarily the ones with higher degrees," said Gerard Begley, strategic planning manager in the IT division of Tellabs Inc., in Shannon, Ireland. "What they all do have is good personal attributes, like a high energy level. Theyre good with people, they listen well, see the big picture and arent afraid to make decisions. IQ and EQ [emotional intelligence] will always mean more."

Stephanie Wilkinson, a free-lance writer, can be reached at

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