Premier 100s give their advice to future leaders

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"Look for a mentor in your organization. This may be your someone in your reporting chain or it might not be. This should be someone you respect and can learn from. Take every opportunity to learn -- from your boss, from your mentor, from your peers and from your staff. Learn both what to do and what not to do. Learn to have balance in your life and in your career. Learn to laugh."

Craig B. Luigart

CIO

U.S. Department of Education

Washington

"Never stop learning. You've hitched a ride on a discipline that changes every two to three years in ways none of us can imagine. If you're not a self-learner and reader, if you're not up to the task of absorbing new material, new management paradigms, new teaming arrangements and if you're not willing to abandon all you've built your prior assumptions on and recast your assumptions for the future on almost an evening-to-evening basis, you're definitely in the wrong business."

Bob Palmer

Vice president, Lenox Collections IT

Lenox Inc.

Langhorne, Pa.

"Keep learning -- and not just technically; treat people as you would like to be treated, be honest with others and yourself, don't take yourself too seriously and don't be afraid to change your mind -- it's not a sign of weakness!"

Fran Dramis

CIO, chief e-commerce officer

BellSouth Corp.

Atlanta

"Learn to lead as you learn your technical skills. Learn to be a change agent because you will be one constantly. Learn about yourself because you are the ultimate computer. Learn to be whole in your life and in your work."

John Hummel

Vice president, IS, CIO

Sutter Health

Sacramento, Calif.

"Believe in the long term. Seeing the completed system and how it will enhance the business is in many ways what the CIO's job is all about. We need to be the person who, while up to our ears in alligators, is pointing out to everyone where the ninth hole is at the golf course and where a swamp exists today. Lastly, learn Colin Powell's "rules" and use them. The ability to lead, adapt and change while still keeping that vision is what makes this job so interesting."

Ellis E. Moore

Vice president, IT

Nobel Biocare USA Inc.

Yorba Linda, Calif.

"Network with peers through associations and seminars. Become multidimensional in the business structure by constant communications with functional units of the business."

Jean Holley

Vice president and CIO

USG Corp.

Chicago

"I advise people to develop strong relationships with a wide variety of people. You can learn a lot from having a diverse network -- learn and observe both good and bad, as there is benefit in both. They need to also maintain a healthy balance of work, family and community activities. I have found that when I get stressed, it is because I have forgotten to keep my life in balance. (Similar to a washing machine that is off-balance, as it makes a lot of noise, continues to wash or perform the task at hand, but cannot continue to operate off-balance for an extended period of time.) Finally, stay honest with yourself and others. It makes life simple, easy and enjoyable. Too many people play games that lead to dishonest activities. In the end, they are never satisfied with their life."

Douglas T. Jones

Vice president for enterprise IS, CIO

Cedars-Sinai Health System

Los Angeles

"Learn the business processes, keep abreast of industry news, keep up with emerging technologies. Don't depend on vendors to provide technology education."

Deryck G. Jones

Group vice president and chief technology officer

Sentech LLC

San Francisco

"Predetermine your course of action. Lay out your goals and communicate to others. Be ready to adjust your priorities and always allow time for acceptance. Then head into action while always expecting the unexpected. Build on your short-term successes and always surround yourself with the best people you can find."

James B. Stough

Director, technology

Locke Liddell & Sapp LLP

Houston

" 'Run, Forrest, run!' All humor aside, the IT arena is filled with many interesting, demanding and high-quality jobs, especially for those that want and demand a challenge. My advice would be to pick a field of interest and learn all you can about it. The more you learn, the more you know; the more you know, the more value you possess. The more value you possess, the more opportunities will present themselves. Above all, never, never burn your bridges. Believe it our not, IT is a small community. That one burned bridge may cost you your dream job."

Bob Ricker

CTO

KeyCorp

Cleveland

"Get as broad a background as possible."

Frank A. Guglielmo

Vice president, enterprise engineering group

Soza and Co.

Fairfax, Va.

"Always have a definable, defensible position, document everything and read all that comes across you desk."

Stephen F. Brown

Executive vice president, CIO

Tenet Healthcare Corp.

Dallas

"Know how to organize and present your ideas."

On Connecting With Customers

Bill York

CTO

Comergent Technologies Inc.

Redwood City, Calif.

"Always put your customers first, stay focused on your goals and targets and always respect your employees -- they are your greatest asset."

Scott Hicar

Vice president for IT, CIO

Maxtor Corp.

Longmont, Colo.

"Spend as much time as possible understanding what makes your company successful from your customers' perspective. This is what should drive your technology strategy."

Sunny Balijepalli

Vice president for technology, co-founder

Half.com Inc.

Plymouth Meeting, Pa.

"Develop and maintain a laser focus on knowing your customers needs and meeting them. Your customer may be an internal department or a user of your Web site. The focus should not change."

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Copyright © 2002 IDG Communications, Inc.

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