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IT Leader Spotlight: Brian Clayton

09/28/2021 4:32 PM | Kaitlin Quellhorst (Administrator)

Brian Clayton, IT Services Manager, HBR Consulting

Did you always want to work in IT?

No, the USAF chose that for me.  When I joined, I had no objective in life so when I passed the entry test open to any role I wanted I chose my ten and IT was amongst that list.  I was sent after boot camp to Biloxi to train in the Communications Group (then ISG).  My first job after the AF was not in IT, but that business moved me to manage their computer network, so I guess God was telling me my path.

Tell us about your career path.

It has always been Service to others, whether in in the military, help desk, as an enterprise architect or CIO/CISO.

What business or technology initiatives will be most significant in driving IT investments in your organization in the coming year?

Balancing securing and enabling businesses to deliver at their highest level, such as protecting personal data and work product while opening all doors and windows for employees to exhibit their skills and talents to the fullest.

Does the conventional CIO role include responsibilities it should not hold? Should the role have additional responsibilities it does not currently include?

The CIO’s responsibilities cross all lines of businesses.  I believe lines can only be drawn with mature leadership teams.  Understand your role and how it affects and is affected by the others on your team.  The CIO must also be an enabler not just a wall.

What does a good culture fit look like in your organization? How do you cultivate it?

A team respecting their role on the team and the expertise that surrounds them.  This doesn’t mean to sit still, it means to evolve together, welcome new team members, congratulate those who graduate and move to other teams.  Understand sometimes people suck, we all do at some point.  But the respect and commitment to the team will get you out of those holes and allow you to move forward again.

What roles or skills are you finding (or anticipate to be) the most difficult to fill?

Technically skilled who can have user empathy balanced with being technically skilled.

What’s the best career advice you ever received?

Deliver on your promises and share the rewards with all who joined in on your battles.  Those people that challenge you the most are setting the bar for your next achievement.

What has been your greatest career achievement?

To love and be loved by those I have worked with along the way.  Don’t destroy the path behind you.  It is a part of you forever.

Looking back with 20/20 hindsight, what would you have done differently? 

Changing my mistakes in the past might very well change where I am today.  Physical features of weight aside, I am happy where I am today.  Just learn from those mistakes for tomorrow, look forward.


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