Jeff Ton has risen through the ranks of IT from manager to director to CIO. He’s now bringing the wisdom he’s learned to current IT leaders through a CIO networking group in Central Indiana. On this episode of the Hot Mess Hotline, he shares how to overcome mistakes at work through a gut-wrenching management and leadership experience.
He faced his 150-person team to explain himself and explain why they saw their names on the chopping block in a slide deck before the time was right.
It was tense. Seriously, my tummy gets flippy and floppy just thinking about how he felt in that moment as I write this.
His story is for you if you’re looking for ways to respond better when tensions are high — to get out of your head and take the right kind of action. This episode has so many words of wisdom, including:
- How to overcome mistakes at work by learning the right lessons from oh shit moments
- What “owning up” looks like (it’s not as scary as you think it is)
- A process to use when you’ve got to face the music
- What the true responsibility of leadership is
- When to allow your people to be all up in their feelings
- People need to know the why, even if they don’t agree with the decision
- Why you need to have the conversation with those impacted sooner than you think
- If part of your work is too easy, you shouldn’t be in that job
- How empathy can be built in the toughest of times
- Why you need to meet people where they are, especially when they tune you out after a difficult message
- One question you can ask your team members to find their motivation
- What vulnerability looks like in the C-suite
- What the tightrope is between confidence, calm, and worry
- Giving leaders the benefit of the doubt
- Two definitions for API (if you’re in IT you need both)
- What not to do when you get sensitive info
After listening, check out the books Jeff recommends and his books in the section below.
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Books and Resources
- Leadership and Self Deception: Getting Out of the Box by The Arbinger Institute
- Amplify Your Value and Job Search series by Jeff Ton
- Indy CIO Network
About Jeff Ton
Jeff Ton is a sought-after speaker, author and thought leader, having led powerful teams and built successful Information Technology departments for over 30 years. As a speaker, author, advisor, and coach, Jeff’s mission is to change the face of IT. Saying, “Businesses today are demanding more from their technology and their technology leaders.”
In more than three decades, Jeff has served as Chief Information Officer with Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana and Lauth Property Group, as well as 14 years in various technology roles with Thomson Multimedia (RCA). Later in his career, Jeff “moved to the other side of the desk” by joining the executive team at InterVision Systems. After helping to guide several acquisition integrations, he left to devote his energies to his mission.
Speaking to audiences from 5 to 1,000, Jeff has mastered the art of simplifying complex IT issues and is always looking for opportunities to drive value in organizations now and in the future.
He serves on numerous boards and advisory councils including Forbes Technology Council, Hoosier Environmental Council board of directors Connected World Magazine Board of Advisors, and the Mud Creek Conservancy board of directors. He is also a Fellow Alumni for the Institute of Digital Transformation.
Jeff is the author of Amplify Your Value (2018) and Amplify Your Job Search (2020) and is a frequent keynote speaker on topics related to the evolving IT landscape and the changing role of the CIO. Meet Jeff and learn more at www.JeffreySTon.com.