A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of chairing the 2017 Future CIO Summit in Boston.\u00a0 I was joined by many successful CIOs as they participated in keynotes, presentations, panel discussions, and interactive sessions on assorted\u00a0set of\u00a0topics. Most related to\u00a0the leadership challenges of being a CIO.\u00a0 It was an enlightening few days.\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\nThere were a few reoccurring attributes mentioned that exemplified the qualities\u00a0needed to be a successful\u00a0CIO\u00a0of the future.\u00a0 These included:\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\nPeople and communications\nWe often think of CIOs as technology leaders, and I am sure many consider technology knowledge as the most important aspect of the role.\u00a0 This knowledge is clearly an important and somewhat unique trait for a CIO. However, a CIO is a leader, and much of leadership\u00a0is about\u00a0working and leading people and communicating appropriately to the various audiences he or she must interact.\u00a0 Also, the role of mentoring and fostering staff and surrounding yourself with a strong team is part of being a successful leader.\u00a0\nAgility and\u00a0relationship building\nAn executive role requires the skill and ability to think about problems that have multiple origins, conflicting stakeholders, and dynamic environments.\u00a0The CIO needs to be a rounded professional, having strong capabilities in technical, business, strategy, social and political dimensions. Working across every single part of the business is one of the fascinating things about IT, but you need\u00a0to know what drives each department, how to build good relationships across the organization, and how to react to an ever-changing environment.\u00a0\nBecome a part of the revenue stream\nThere is real opportunity for CIOs to provide support in the sales process.\u00a0 CIOs are executive representatives of their company.\u00a0 They can play an equal part to their C-Suite peers in representing their company in front of their customers and prospects, especially when change is related to their ever-expanding use of technology.\u00a0 Who would be better to represent why a company is innovative than the CIO,\u00a0the person who\u00a0is responsible for\u00a0the\u00a0business's technology?\u00a0 Furthermore, the CIO can be instrumental in listening to a customer\u2019s needs for improved use of technology and help their business drive innovation to meet customer needs.\u00a0\nAfter\u00a0listening to\u00a0the sessions regarding the future of a CIO and the traits and areas of responsibility\u00a0of\u00a0this role, I summarized\u00a0my\u00a0thoughts\u00a0as follows:\u00a0\nWhy would anyone\u00a0want to be a CIO?\u00a0 It requires:\n\nTrue business\u00a0knowledge and leadership\u00a0\nProviding\u00a0corporate direction in a digital world\u00a0\nActing as a representative of the company and participating\u00a0in Sales\u00a0\nAdvising\u00a0on the development of new digital products\u00a0\nIn-depth knowledge of finance\nTactical\u00a0leadership including, spearheading\u00a0major transformations, overseeing the IT\u00a0project portfolio\u00a0and ensuring effective\u00a0IT operations\u00a0\nMentoring and facilitating the growth of staff\u00a0\nFostering collaboration and innovation\u00a0\nBeing\u00a0a technology expert\n\nBeing a CIO is a difficult job and is not a role\u00a0at which\u00a0many people can been exceptionally successful.\u00a0 It requires a multitude of knowledge and skills that must\u00a0evolve to successfully lead in today\u2019s business environments and stay ahead of the curve.\nHowever, there are wonderfully driven and talented people who are always up for a challenge and it is this type of person that does well as a CIO.\u00a0 On a personal note, this is probably why I have so enjoyed my career working with this community.\u00a0\nMoving forward, there\u00a0is\u00a0a\u00a0huge opportunity for the CIO to demonstrate leadership for the entire business. The IT strategy will be the lifeline for the business in the future and the most exciting positions will\u00a0not only\u00a0need to know technology, but also\u00a0be savvy in finance, marketing,\u00a0sales and HR.\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\nThrough 2018, I look forward to publishing some of my conversations with some select CIOs and\u00a0will\u00a0share with\u00a0you some of their successes and challenges.