The Nies file Featured

8:43am EDT February 24, 2005
Born: Cincinnati

Education: University of Cincinnati, bachelor's degree in marketing, master's degree in finance

First job: IBM

Recognitions: Profiled by the Smithsonian Institution's Division of Information Technology and Society as a software industry pioneer; recognized by former President Ronald Reagan as "the epitome of entrepreneurial spirit of American business;" Entrepreneur Of The Year Hall of Fame; Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year regional technology winner

Involvement: Served on board of the Federal Bank of Cleveland

Whom do you admire most in business and why?

I was lucky to get a job at IBM at the dawn of modern computing. They had a wealth of brilliant managers and executives, and there were several mentors that looked after me and helped me, including Bob Sales, Andy Fogarty and Terry Lachenbach, who rose to become president.

What is the most important business lesson you have learned?

To quote Socrates, the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know.

What has been your toughest business challenge?

Coping with success. Success leads to arrogance. Sir Edmund Hillary, who first climbed Mt. Everest, said, 'We don't conquer the mountain, we conquer ourselves.' You have to conquer yourself, and then you get your people to see that is their greatest challenge, too.