1) Vision – I know, this is not a skill but a CIO needs to know where to take the organization both in the next year and five years down the road.
2) Listening – This starts as a characteristic that can be developed into a skill. One must actively listen, question the person(s) making a request, and drill down to the basic needs tha must be fulfilled. Otherwise, the ‘leader’ delivers a loaf of bread when the requester really needs an oven.
3) Technological Savvy – Again, not really a skill but an accumulation of knowledge and understanding. You must understand that tab A fits in slot A. The CIO’s short-term vision should be executable.
A well-rounded CIO also must also be financially savvy in order to get the most bang for the company buck. Targeted investment. You could give each corporate user a printer all their own or you can locate printers centrally by group.
A second skill desperately needed is future-proofing the IT staff through developmental assignments, skill training, and cross-training. A good CIO is NEVER caught one deep in any of his staffing skill set.