Friday, March 23, 11:52 a.m....\nMore on CIO.com\nBook Excerpt: The Adventures of an IT Leader, Part 2\n\nBook Excerpt: The Adventures of an IT Leader, Part 3\n\nBook Excerpt: The Adventures of an IT Leader, Part 4\n\n"Speechless" was not a word most people could imagine applying to Jim Barton, head of the \n\nIVK Loan Operations department. But the news [CEO Carl] Williams had conveyed moments before \n\nhad left Barton dumbfounded.\n\n"We're not asking you to leave. But I had originally proposed a very different role for you \n\nthan the one you've ended up in."\n\nAn unusual assignment. I can live with that [thought Barton]. "I'm willing to do whatever \n\nwill help," he offered.\n\n"Having discussed this with the board extensively, we've..." Here Williams drew in a deep \n\nbreath, "Well, we've decided that you should be our new chief information officer."\nThis was the news that had knocked the air out of Barton. Finally, he managed to babble: \n\n"CIO? You want me to be the CIO?"\n\n"Davies has been overwhelmed in that role. You've been one of his most outspoken critics."\n\n"I know, but...I've got no background in information technology."\n\n"And Davies has a lot. That clearly doesn't work, so we've decided to try something else."\n\n"Carl," said Barton, "I just don't think I'm the right choice."\n\n"Give it time," said Williams, "but not too much time. Let me know what you decide."\n\nFriday, March 23, 2:41 p.m....\n\nAll day, employees had been working on a big whiteboard in the back of a storage room to \n\ncreate a chart showing the new management team. Jim Barton remained the biggest puzzle. When \n\ninquisitiveness overwhelmed them, people gravitated to the corridor outside Barton's office.\n\nBarton was oblivious to their attention, lost in a think fog, oscillating between anger and \n\nexcitement, as unsure as he had ever been about anything. At 1:35 p.m., he'd swiveled his \n\nchair around to the computer screen and had begun searching the Web. He had come across a \n\nPowerPoint presentation called "A Short History of the CIO Position." Some of the content \n\nwas cryptic, but the gist of it was clear.\n\nAs Barton thought back through the history of IVK, he realized that this [CIO history] fit \n\nIVK reasonably well. During the dotcom craze, IVK had been a startup. When the bottom had \n\nfallen out of the tech market, it was a very good thing that IVK had never quite gotten on \n\nboard the Internet express. Throughout much of the crash-and-burn period for Internet \n\nstartups, IVK had managed to grow.\n\nThe part about IT being a potential source of growth for a firm excited Barton. He \n\nremembered Davies arguing that superior technical features that could be demonstrated to \n\nclients could be a factor in closing deals. That's why he'd wanted in on meetings with \n\ncustomers. The idea of Davies and his weird neckties sitting down with customers had \n\nobscured serious consideration of this argument.\n\nHe shut his browser and stood up. Looking toward the door, he noticed the people outside his \n\noffice.\n\n"What is it?" he asked them, as he emerged with coat on and briefcase in hand. He singled \n\nout someone who had worked for him in Loan Operations. "Jackie, what's going on?"\n\n"We've been trying to figure out where you fit in the new management team."\n\nHe looked around, gathered his nerve and tried on a phrase that had never before passed his \n\nlips: "I'm the new CIO."\n\nSeveral people in the room gasped. Barton did not wait for further reactions. He headed for \n\nthe elevator, leaving stunned silence in his wake.\n\nSunday, March 25, 8:15 a.m....\n\nBarton sat on cold pavement, legs outstretched, prepping for a long run around the park. \n\nHe'd spent Saturday night watching TV and listening to music, and then he'd gone to bed \n\nearly.\n\nThe relatively mindless pursuits had left him with plenty of capacity to think about his \n\nfirst day as CIO on Monday. The obvious first thing to do would be a meeting of his direct \n\nreports. In the afternoon, he wanted to spend some time with Gary Geisler, the keeper of \n\ninformation that pertained to IT budgets and expenditures.\n\nAs Barton began to jog down a path, he had a disturbing thought. Sometimes Davies jogged \n\nhere. A few minutes later he found himself running almost side-by-side with Davies, who \n\ndidn't seem to notice at first.\n\nWhen Davies slowed down and stopped to rest and stretch, Barton did also.\n\n"Hi, Bill," said Barton.\n\n"Hello, Jim," responded Davies.\n\nA pause grew uncomfortable. Barton broke it: "I guess you heard..."\n\n"I did." Barton waited to give Davies time to say more, but he didn't. Barton opted for \n\nbrevity to fill the new silence: "Ironic, huh?"\n\n"I laughed for about half an hour when I heard."\n\nBarton looked closely, trying to discern whether the remark was a friendly joke or a hostile \n\ngesture. "Hey, I just want you to know\u2014we had some disagreements."\n\n"We sure did."\n\nBarton continued: "I was out of line at times, and I feel bad about that."\n\nDavies began to laugh. "What you don't realize, Jim, is that you'll be gone soon too. That \n\ncompany is a madhouse. Nobody could succeed running IT in that place. You won't last a \n\nyear."\n\nBarton started to answer, but Davies wasn't finished: "Don't feel bad for me," he added. "I \n\nstart a new job on Monday. I even got a raise."\n\nWithout waiting for a response from Barton, Davies sprinted away, making it clear that he \n\ndidn't want to be followed.\n\nNext: Barton learns about I.T. value\u2014and how to sell it.\n\nExcerpted from The Adventures of an IT Leader by Robert D. Austin, Richard L. Nolan and \n\nShannon O'Donnell, Harvard Business Press, April 2009. Austin is a professor at Copenhagen \n\nBusiness School and an associate professor (on leave) at Harvard Business School. Nolan is a \n\nprofessor at the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington, Seattle, and a \n\nprofessor emeritus at Harvard Business School. O'Donnell is a PhD fellow at Copenhagen \n\nBusiness School and a former director and dramaturg at People's Light and Theatre in \n\nPhiladelphia.