Governing Body Spotlight

Governing Body Member of the Houston CIO Community

Rob Zelinka

Chief Information Officer

Jack Henry & Associates

Rob Zelinka is the CIO at Jack Henry & Associates. He leads the many enterprise functions for the business, which are functions and/or services consumed by the company or supporting the company to deliver external facing offerings – including, end user services, IT governance, capacity planning, critical Infrastructure, network-telecom, SaaS/ PaaS platforms. He has capital management (HCM) and customer relationship management (CRM) platforms consumed by over 7000 associates at the company.

Learn more about the Houston CIO community here.

Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.

I knew early on in my career that I wanted to be in a role that allowed me to serve people. That initially led me to a path where I could teach people how technology could enrich people's lives. That was back in the days where the internet was a new concept for most. Fast forward to today, and that premise is still what fuels me. I saw an opportunity early on to channel my energy into helping to develop people, and, ultimately, organizations as they drive change in the marketplace.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

Show courage and commitment to whatever you believe in. At times it won't be easy, but doing the right thing is often hard.

What is the key to success for someone just starting out as a CIO?

Never stop learning; avoid complacency at all costs.

How do you measure success as a leader?

Simply, do people respect you as a leader? I would submit it is better to be respected than liked. Naturally, we all want to be liked, but being respected as a C-Level leader is foundational. Do you show the courage to make the truly hard calls and make them when they need to be made? I often say, if you want to be liked, go and sell ice cream. Everyone loves the ice cream man.

What is the value of being a member of the Evanta community?

The value associated with being a member of the Evanta community is the community itself – a community of leaders who share common goals but also share common challenges. It is a safe place where you can be challenged and be vulnerable with your peers. The diverse backgrounds and experiences have helped me to grow as a leader and to be a better human along the way.

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