Why Hope Is So Important To Being A Successful CIO

Hope is what can make a CIO successful
Hope is what can make a CIO successful
Image Credit: Darren Tunnicliff

When we think about what it takes to make a CIO successful, what comes to your mind? Is it technical knowledge: clouds, network security, virtualization, etc.? Is it understanding the importance of information technology? Is it superior people management skills? I’m more than willing to agree that all of these are important things for the person with the CIO job to have. However, I think that there is one thing that may be more important for a CIO to have than everything else all taken together. What is this magical thing you ask? Simple. It’s called hope.

What Is Hope

Let’s agree on one thing: hope is a silly little emotion. In fact, it’s an emotion that really does not get all that much attention from us. However, the people who do research on what makes us tick are now reporting that hope is very important part of what makes our physical self and our mental self work correctly. CIOs who have higher levels of hope turn out to have healthier habits. These are the CIOs who exercise more, sleep more, eat better and (yes) practice safer sex.

The good thing about being the person in the CIO position who has hope is that there are a lot of benefits that come along with it. You will have fewer colds, you are less likely to have hypertension, if you develop cancer you have a better chance of surviving it and you should have less depression. What makes hope so important to CIOs, the researchers say, is something called agency. CIOs who have hope don’t just have a wish or a goal. Instead, they have a plan or a strategy to achieve it along with the motivation to make it happen. At its heart, hope is the belief that the future will be better than the present and that you are the one who has some control over making this happen.

A lot of people get hope confused with optimism. Optimism is the belief that things are going to work out no matter what you do. As important as hope is to CIOs, it is something that we can lose. If we find ourselves focusing on the obstacles that are in our way, then we can lose hope. However, the good news is that hope can be restored after it has been lost. Taking the time to identify our goals and the multiple paths that we can take in order to achieve them can result in a significant and sustained increase in hope.

Why Is Hope So Very Important To Have?

One of the most important things that we need to realize as CIOs is that hope is contagious. This means that as much as we possibly can, we need to strive to spend our time in the company of other people who have hope. If you take the time to focus on doing something that excites you, then you will be able to remember what hope feels like. If you spend your time doing something that you are good at it will also boost your level of hope.

There are four components that make up hope. Attachment is a sense of attachment to a person and continued trust. Mastery is a feeling of being strong and capable. There are two parts to Survival: the first is a belief that you are not trapped in a bad situation and the second is the ability to hold on to positive thoughts and feelings when you are dealing with a negative situation. Spirituality is the belief in something larger than yourself.

CIOS who have all four components of hope are considered to be more hopeful and as a result more resilient. Hope should not be considered to be a dream. Rather, it should be viewed as something that we all have to stand up and work for. Brain researchers have discovered that we don’t really have any control over feelings of hopelessness. However, what we do have control over is how we respond to feelings of hopelessness. Researchers tell us that if we are working towards a goal that turns out to be unobtainable, then what we need to do is to get rid of it. We then need to replace it with one or more goals that we will be able to obtain.

What All Of This Means For You

It turns out that on top of all of the technical knowledge that a CIO needs to have, they also need to have something called hope. Hope is an emotion that if we have enough of it, we can get both our physical and mental parts to work correctly.

If you have enough hope, then your life will be better. Your health will improve and you’ll have a plan that tells you how you want to make things better. You’ll believe that a better future is something that you have control over. The good news is that if we lose our hope, we can take steps to get it back. We need to spend our time with other people who have hope because it is contagious. Hope is made up of four different parts. Hope is not a dream but rather something that we need to work at. We need to make sure that all of our goals are obtainable.

I would suspect that most of us don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the amount of hope that there currently is in our lives. However, it turns out that hope can play a big role in how our lives are going. If we take the time to understand what hope is made up of and find ways to include more hope in our lives, then we’ll have a better shot at achieving our goals. Let your hope help you to be more successful.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Department Leadership Skills™

Question For You: If you want to increase the amount of hope that you have, what would be a good first step?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

I’m pretty sure that all of us CIOs would be more than willing to admit that because of the importance of information technology, we are currently being flooded with data. Most of us would say that we have too much data in our lives. We understand that it is part of what the person with the CIO job has to do to come up with ways to get control over all of the data that is currently flooding into the company. In order to do this correctly, what we need to do is to add to our team people who understand data inside and out. What we need are data scientists. However, who are these people and just exactly what do they do?