CIOs are leaders of change, and change is something most people resist. Therefore, the ability to influence stakeholders--including those over whom CIOs have no direct authority--is an essential but difficult skill to master."Influence defines my job. Influence is the road to credibility, and credibility enhances influencing skills," says Barbara Kunkel, CIO at the law firm Troutman Sanders. The Council's Executive Women in IT group partnered with The Leader's Edge to gather benchmarks and practical peer advice from 80 members of the Council. A common mistake CIOs make when influencing is poor pitch preparation--they fail to obtain important facts and numbers related to the business need and potential benefits. Related mistakes include overselling the benefits (leading to a big credibility hit when failing to deliver) and oversimplifying the challenges of the initiative just to win buy-in. Download the survey report here.