When CIOs join a new organization, or their current company changes direction, they have an opportunity to establish themselves as strategic leaders. It doesn\u2019t matter if their companies aren\u2019t large or if they work in industries that adopt new technologies slowly. (For more on strategic CIOs, see "What\u2019s Next for the CIO Role.")\n \n1. Get a new job. Frank Cervone, Purdue University Calumet\u2019s CIO and vice chancellor of information services, is the institution\u2019s first C-level IT executive. When he arrived in 2009, he set out to change how the campus serves its students\u2014a Purdue-wide goal. In the process, he challenged campus executives to think more broadly about how to provide services to faculty, staff and students. Being new, Cervone had a new perspective, which helped get business leaders to listen to his ideas.\n \n2. Move forward with your company. At online marketer Epic Media Group, CIO Rick Okin plans to take advantage of a pause in merger activity to solidify executives\u2019 expectations for IT. Epic grew rapidly from a startup into a global company, and Okin focused on keeping mission-critical systems functioning during its expansion. Now, however, he is tackling strategic needs, such as finding a better way to analyze and act quickly on data collected from the more than 300 million ads Epic serves each day.\n \n3. Don\u2019t stick to IT. Even within industries that are slow to adopt new technologies, it\u2019s possible for CIOs to step into a business-focused role. When, earlier in his career, Savino DiPasquale became an IT leader at a manufacturing company, a plant manager stressed that he should \u201cput a general manager\u2019s hat on\u201d\u2014to think about how to achieve business goals with IT, not just how to implement new systems.\n \n \u201cThat\u2019s probably the best advice I\u2019ve ever gotten,\u201d recalls DiPasquale, who is now VP of business development and CIO at \u00adGlaxoSmithKline Canada. \u201cI\u2019ve used that throughout my career to focus on trying to help the business from a business perspective, and to be a contributor versus only speaking up when there\u2019s an IT issue on the table.