He credits quite a few strategies for his results.

Curiosity tops his record. “I enjoy learning new issues, so when something new reveals up, I’m learning about it and inquiring if it applies,” he states.

The motivation to build new abilities is also significant on that checklist of results approaches. Koushik suggests he was deliberate about earning profession moves that gave him possibilities to develop. For instance, he joined Nationwide, wherever he served as senior vice president, CIO, and CTO, “to develop new muscle mass,” in which he would guide a considerably much larger workforce and in which he would “implement and seriously stay with the technological innovation.”

At the identical time, he cautions versus leaping about far too considerably, advising soaring pros to find a pleased medium among switching employment each few months and remaining in the exact position for many years. For case in point, he advises paying out adequate time at a place to learn new competencies and utilize them, a method that generally will take a several a long time.

He also suggests experts strategy in advance — Koushik typically appears out a few decades — and obtain mentors who can present guidance.

Ghada M. Ijam, CIO, Federal Reserve Technique

Ghada Ijam admits she stumbled into IT. Immediately after earning a bachelor’s diploma in civil engineering, she landed a career as a business enterprise technology analyst with Fannie Mae and immediately located that IT operate suited her.

Ghada Ijam stylized

Ghada M. Ijam, CIO, Federal Reserve Technique

Federal Reserve Procedure

“I understood it was all about fixing issues and solving issues via technological innovation,” she claims.

She also preferred collaborating with other folks to generate answers, and she recognized she experienced a pure expertise for bringing men and women alongside one another and major teams. That, in turn, bought her significantly essential assignments with even bigger issues to address.

Around time, Ijam set her sights on getting to be a CIO, viewing the role as 1 that correctly leveraged her mixture of competencies.

“I only stumbled at the time into IT, and almost everything else was then planned next-techniques,” she states.

As a final result, Ijam has held roles of growing authority, relocating from her 1st place at Fannie Mae on to careers at Intel and Freddie Mac and then Amtrak, where she eventually grew to become CIO. She is now CIO of the Federal Reserve System.

Ijam claims she has uncovered a number of significant classes alongside the way.

To start with is the value of becoming empathetic to other individuals and listening to what stakeholders have to say — two issues that support IT industry experts join the dots and devise validated programs, Ijam states.

2nd is “learning by undertaking and by seeing how other effective leaders run, seeing what to do and what not to do, and owning the means to implement what you observe,” she claims.

Third, that being adaptable and “being humble sufficient to find out from mistakes” are also critical for advancing into the government ranks.

So is the willingness to stage up when questioned. Ijam claims if available a tricky problem to remedy, IT leaders and aspiring IT leaders should leap at the possibility to do so — even if you never but have all the skills needed for the endeavor. “Know what you have and what you need to have to understand,” Ijam suggests.

Ijam also stresses the importance of making potent, honest associations with those you are attempting to support and with those people who aid you get the perform completed.

Sheila Jordan, SVP and Chief Digital Technological know-how Officer, Honeywell

Sheila Jordan concluded early in her profession that technology is “a advancement engine” — just as significantly as advertising and marketing and product sales are. That was again in the 1990s, when she was working at Walt Disney Globe in gross sales and internet marketing (initially as a VP and then SVP), the place she led the company’s 1st client relationship administration (CRM) system implementation.

Sheila Jordan stylized

Sheila Jordan, SVP and Main Electronic Technological innovation Officer, Honeywell


Jordan, now senior vice president and chief digital technological know-how officer at Honeywell, states the “responsibility to provide technology to the company that can supply price, both as a result of efficiency or expansion,” remained a frequent by the years and it is continue to genuine right now.

Jordan states other expertise have also assisted her make a effective occupation. She cites the potential to converse successfully and to discuss to all different audiences on their levels as crucial skills. She also cites the potential to prioritize IT investments against anticipated returns, saying that “you have to be in a position to seem at both sides: the financial investment aspect versus the effects.”

Jordan, who early on had aspired to management roles, was considerate about advancing her occupation — a system she endorses to other people.

“Be planful know what you want to do. Decide on the task you want to do in a few several years, then figure out what your gaps are and the ways to get closure on all those gaps,” she claims, while also stressing the will need to be open to surprising chances.

“There are occasions when a person will tap you on your shoulder and say, ‘I want you to go do this.’ It’s those turns that grow you the most,” she claims, adding that the four these types of chances she experienced encountered — and took — helped propel her improvement.

Barbara Cooper-Jones, CIO, Ginnie Mae

Barbara Cooper-Jones had majored in accounting in the 1970s but quickly grew to become fascinated much more by the personal computer methods currently being used than the figures on their own. She begun composing “pseudo code to give to builders, tests and examining code” and ultimately moved into undertaking management.

Barbara Cooper Jones stylized

Barbara Cooper-Jones, CIO, Ginnie Mae

Ginnie Mae

Cooper-Jones found herself fascinated in “whatever was new and very hot,” primarily with regard to knowledge and devices, and was normally looking for to study about emerging technologies as immediately as probable and wondering about how to put them to use.

All that, she says, drove her vocation forward, from an early-vocation purpose as a techniques analyst to her latest occupation as CIO of Ginnie Mae.

Cooper-Jones states every single stage alongside the way has been important, as every single a person enabled her to develop skills she could use to advance not just her career but her contributions.

“It was about how can I shift an group to wherever it wants to be and how can I leverage my expertise, expertise, and knowledge to do that. That was the option I was searching for I did not actually treatment what they termed the posture,” she points out.

Cooper-Jones factors to how she was brought into Ginnie Mae as circumstance in point: A previous co-employee who was doing work at Ginnie Mae asked her to be part of the corporation, stating she understood Cooper-Jones had a great deal to add. “She knew I was a strong technological innovation particular person, a solid knowledge individual.”

Cooper-Jones joined as a senior technological know-how chief and became its CIO about six months afterwards when the place opened up.

Cooper-Jones claims she then set all her encounters to work, noting achievement as a CIO requires comprehension the organization’s aims, being aware of what the customers want (not just what they say they want), building strategic hires, nurturing relationships, and normally remaining ready to execute and supply.

Jim Fowler, EVP and Chief Technology Officer, Nationwide

Jim Fowler experienced an early introduction to technology’s transformative power: As a superior university university student, he had helped his father, a compact-town pharmacist, carry out a laptop method that “completely reworked his enterprise from a paper-operate one to a digital company overnight.”

Jim Fowler stylized

Jim Fowler, EVP and Chief Technological innovation Officer, Nationwide


It is an perception that he says has served him effectively during his career, the start of which observed Fowler targeted on turning into a subject matter qualified in working devices and infrastructure architecture.

As he state-of-the-art, Fowler honed other abilities, this kind of as speaking clearly, influencing many others, creating a strategic vision, acquiring individuals to abide by his vision, and understanding how small business operates — a path that organized him to lead.

“I observed that I had the capabilities to be a CIO,” he says. “I never consider I could be a great CIO if I 1st did not do all the other different functions within just the organization.”

Fowler now advises aspiring gurus to adhere to a comparable route.

“Be the subject matter subject pro in one thing where by persons depend on you. It doesn’t matter what it’s a starting position that you can construct each and every other capacity off of. Then go wide, not just from a tech viewpoint but from a business enterprise viewpoint,” he suggests.

Fowler, like many others, also stresses the worth of stepping up when termed on.

He factors to two moments in his vocation when he took a task no one else wished both of those ended up turning factors due to the fact they permitted him to showcase capabilities, acquire new ones, and prove himself as a leader.

Do not permit doubt stand in the way of this kind of roles, he says, incorporating that “if you really do not come to feel like an imposter in a role, you’re not studying something you’re not developing your techniques and talents.”

Chris Bedi, Chief Electronic Information and facts Officer, ServiceNow

Chris Bedi entered expert get the job done aiming to clear up difficulties and come across means to make people’s life better.

Chris Bedi stylized

Chris Bedi, Chief Electronic Info Officer, ServiceNow


“I retained carrying out much more of that, and the titles and every little thing just followed,” suggests Bedi, who is now chief electronic details officer at ServiceNow.

“As tech turned additional significant to corporations, it coincided with my ambition to do relevant matters for the companies I was at. I usually assumed, and now it’s aspect of the typical parlance, that IT wants to deliver business results. So I constantly confirmed up with definitely exciting metrics that mattered to the firm,” he states.

Bedi also credits some occupation detours for aiding him progress to the govt ranks.

“At Verisign, I was tapped on the shoulder by the CFO to run HR operations. My original reaction was, ‘What did I do improper?’ And then I believed, if the CFO was inquiring me to do something, the only solution is of course,” he says, including that he discovered that the CFO tapped him for the purpose simply because of his skill to operate powerful functions, encourage individuals, and get groups to concentrate on what really matters.

That HR function, Bedi claims, gave him an opportunity to execute a turnaround — a important practical experience for any exec to increase to the resume.

Bedi says he was also questioned to operate a divestiture approach whilst at Verisign — an additional go that had him “jumping into the deep end of the pool,” still one particular that also aided him create and sharpen his techniques close to P&L approaches and current market valuations.

“The opportunity to get those detours to turn out to be a far more very well-rounded executive and build a broader base of skills ended up tremendous crucial,” he states. “There are model-boosting moments where by you are presented an possibility and you just have to step up and choose them. Even if you only know one particular-third of the responses, bet on on your own and you’ll determine the rest out.”