There are many brilliant minds out there in the senior ranks of IT. They belong to information executives with great careers ahead of them, invaluable A players in their organizations. Not all are cut out for the top IT job, however.
Perhaps more than other C-level roles, the CIO position needs a set of skills and qualities that is an especially tricky balance to find in one person. It's not enough that CIOs know their technology. They also need "business acumen" -- an umbrella phrase for a whole set of qualities, a few of which are leadership, a knack for effective communication with various constituents, financial literacy, a clear understanding of each department's role within the enterprise, a keen awareness of the company's standing among its competitors, and enough discernment of what makes the business profitable to be able to propose ways to make it more profitable. There's also the question of balance: knowing how to participate in the business conversation without distancing yourself too much from the technology expert in you.
The CIO job is far from the natural culmination of an IT leader's career. Here, experts share some signals that becoming CIO just isn't in the cards for an IT executive.