Jon Rike, CIO, City of Dayton
What was your first Job?
My first job after graduating from college was providing IT support for executive leadership at the University of Dayton. Looking back, I now realize how privileged I was to have access and exposure to phenomenal leaders like Brother Ray Fitz, Father Gene Contadino, Dr. Katy Marre, and Jaci Jackson. As I've grown in my career, I've more fully realized that my leadership style and approach to management was fundamentally shaped by these interactions and the lessons I learned from great leaders. Throughout my career I've done my best to "pay it forward" by modeling their approach and continually looking for opportunities to provide servant leadership.
What has been your greatest career achievement?
Significant achievements in IT are typically associated with initiatives or projects that produce a fundamental impact at the enterprise level. In my career I've been blessed to have led or contributed to many technology projects that have raised the bar and provided compelling benefits for the organization. However, when I think of my greatest achievement I always come back to the team and the people. As leaders we have an amazing opportunity to fundamentally change the trajectory of careers and lives. My greatest achievement will always be associated with the investments I've made in my staff and the exponential growth that has followed!
What's the best career advice you've ever received?
One of the best pieces of career advice that I've ever received was provided in a quote by Harry Truman. He famously said that "not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers". This advice has really served me well in the area of information technology. I truly believe that to successfully lead in this industry, you have to have an endless appetite for reading, learning, and growing. Additionally, the pace of change within IT has accelerated to such a degree that any lapse in learning will quickly become a competitive disadvantage for the individual, the team, and the organization. Thanks for the great advice President Truman!
What advice would you give aspiring IT leaders?
Enjoy the process of becoming! I think in life we often try to speed the process of reaching a given objective without fully embracing or appreciating the journey. As Kobe Bryant said, "Those times when you get up early... those times when you stay up late... when you're too tired... you don't want to push yourself, but you do it anyway. That is actually the dream." Enjoy the ride, be a voracious reader, learn from your mistakes, and always put relationships first!