How to say

By Kim S. Nash  |  Posted 2007-08-13 Print this article Print

Leading CIOs tackle how to reward success, deal with corporate boards and know when to say, "no."


What's the best way to say "no" to someone?

Tim Shack, PNC Financial Services
You really have to be sure that saying "no" is the right answer, particularly if it's a strategic issue. I worry more about what we're doing, if we're doing the right thing, to position ourselves for the future. If the call is mine, then it's first about being open and objective and really understanding the benefits, costs, risks and alternatives.

If a business partner is making the call, we try to be very proactive about our views. But in the end, they make the call. We don't want to be just order-takers but when a decision is made, and you didn't like it, it doesn't matter. You make it a success.

Guy Battista, formerly of First Data, now president of Western Union Financial Services
I make it simple. I think, "What do I shut down that I don't need because now I need another thing?" You've got to get the monkey off the CIO's back. It's easy for business people to call up the CIO and beat them up.

Cal Sihilling, Nash Finch
You never say no. If you have list of priorities that your department has agreed on, then it's not saying no but agreeing to say yes to something else.

Roy Dunbar, MasterCard
Smile while you're doing it.

Next page: Interacting with the board of directors

Senior Writer
Kim has covered the business of technology for 14 years, doing investigative work and writing about legal issues in the industry, including Microsoft Corp.'s antitrust trial. She has won numerous awards and has a B.S. degree in journalism from Boston University.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
eWeek eWeek

Have the latest technology news and resources emailed to you everyday.