"When you're focusing solely on infrastructure," says Citrix's Martine, "you're only working with the IT team -- that's a core responsibility. But when you start tying solutions to business value, that's when you can really make a difference. You work with people that may not know technology as well as you, but they can articulate the business problems better."
CIOs who don't listen and collaborate will likely find themselves on the fast track out the door, warns Matt Brousseau, who wears two distinct hats at recruiting firm Instant Technology: He's both director of recruiting and acting director of IT. "It's the people who never want to listen who end up stagnating," he warns. "People who think they know everything can do a lot of damage. To maintain an organization and make sure that you're providing the appropriate solutions, you have to take the ideas of the people who report to you. You can't implement all of them, but your job is 50% thought leadership and 50% collaboration with your team."