This paper presents the research findings on effective IT leadership among leading firms within the greater Nairobi area in Kenya. It investigates the value that the IT organization adds to the overall performance of organizations and specifically the business impact it makes. It also assesses the status of the current IT leaders within these organizations and presents the gaps that exist in regard to competencies, skills, attributes and content knowledge and compares these to those of all, all time leaders. The paper further outlines the essential characteristics and attributes of effective IT leaders and makes proposals for improving curriculum content to help develop these leaders; It outlines the attributes that human resource departments ought to look at while recruiting IT leaders and makes proposals in regard to areas that require further research. It is hoped that this paper will be useful to students, researchers and practising IT leaders especially those that are interested in issues of effective IT leadership.