Career coach Susan Cramm answers readers' questions\n about reaching out to business partners and effective\n leadership styles.Q: What is your advice when efforts\n to reach out to a business partner fail? One business unit head\n at my company is always \u201ctoo busy\u201d to meet with\n me.A: It sounds like you have gone above and beyond in your\n efforts to forge a relationship. First and foremost, make sure\n that his organization is satisfied with your day-to-day\n services. If issues exist, get them resolved. It\u2019s\n impossible to create relationships if operational credibility\n isn\u2019t in place. Next, focus on creating a great\n reputation with other, more cooperative business units. Ask\n those who have a relationship with this executive to praise\n your efforts. Try also to cultivate relationships and build\n credibility with his direct reports. Ask them for opportunities\n to get in front of their supervisor to review your joint\n accomplishments.\n MORE ON\n CIO.COM\n \n Read more reader questions and answers from\n Susan Cramm.\n Q: Don\u2019t those who \u201clead from the\n back\u201d run the risk of being perceived not as leaders but\n as followers?A: Great leaders practice the philosophy that \u201cWe have\n two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as\n we speak.\u201d They use inquiry to understand others\u2019\n perspectives and shift into advocacy when they have the\n information necessary to propose the path forward.Q: Why counsel CIOs to use others to drive their\n agenda? Why not take an aggressive stance to position yourself\n as a leader within the organization?A: Let me use an analogy to answer your question. My doctor\n can take a more aggressive stance to influence me to take\n better care of myself, but I am the one who determines whether\n or not my behaviors change. The best way for my doctor to\n influence me is to understand my motivators. CIOs don\u2019t\n own the \u201cThree P\u2019s\u201d of value\n creation\u2014the processes, P&L and people\u2014so they\n must use others to drive their agenda. Of course their agenda\n must be shared since those owning the Three P\u2019s determine\n the priority and success of the IT-enabled initiatives. The CIO\n can drive the IT agenda only if it serves the needs of those\n running the business.Susan Cramm is founder and president of Valuedance, an\n executive coaching firm in San Clemente, Calif. You can e-mail\n feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.