Although recently several studies have addressed the required skills of effective CIOs, little is known of the actual behavior successful CIOs. In this study, we explore the behavior of highly effective CIOs by video-recording CIOs at work. The two CIOs videotaped were nominated as CIO of the year. We analyze the data in an innovative and systematic way by developing and using a behavioral leadership coding scheme. The analysis indicates that highly effective CIOs are good listeners. They also often verify previously made agreements; structure the conversation; and provide subordinates with factual information. We also compare the behavior of the highly effective CIOs to a sample of 25 highly effective middle managers. Whereas the CIOs spend little time defending themselves against their subordinates and are mostly involved in steering, middle-managers spend much more time defending themselves and show more support for their subordinates. We conclude that our new video observation-and-coding method is viable to analyze and better understand the behavior of CIOs.