Your feedback on the CIO paradox, that troublesome set of contradictions that often frustrate you in performing your role, has been impassioned and thought-provoking. Several CIOs who responded to the January column saw potential solutions in educating the executive committee about what a CIO actually does."Everyone in the company can tell you in one sentence what your CEO does," says Christopher Barron, former CIO of CPS Energy. "But how many of your peers can describe so succinctly what you do? If your peers don't understand what you do for them, they will not respect you."USU), agrees. "Having recently completed my MBA, I found it interesting how very little content on IT was provided," he says. "We spent a lot of time on accounting, finance and strategy, but had only one very short course on IT. So while IT is increasingly vital to the success of many companies, few business leaders know anything of real substance about it," he says. "As a result, the business often has unrealistic expectations about how IT can be applied to address problems and may not realize what IT can contribute."Many of you saw this education challenge as particularly important when it comes to IT governance. Some CIOs commented that while most companies claim to have an IT governance process, not all business executives understand what they are expected to do to support it. "There is sometimes a lack of understanding as to what the role of a business sponsor truly requires," say Tom Burke, CIO of New York Life International. "It is increasingly important for CIOs to educate their business peers on the IT governance framework and to establish a shared baseline level of understanding."Click here to find out more!Quite a few CIOs blamed CIOs themselves for perpetuating their stakeholders poor perceptions and lack of understanding of IT."CIOs still haven't embraced their role as service provider, where 'I am servicing you, I need to seek you out, I need to change my meeting to fit your schedule,'" says Andres Carvallo, CIO of Austin Energy. "CIOs are used to being the smartest person in the room with the biggest budget. If CIOs could check their egos at the door, they'd be much more effective in their roles."This presents a paradox in itself in that conventional wisdom holds that CIOs need to build up their egos, get out of service mode and assert themselves in the executive suite."We are training our CEOs and business peers to expect the worst," says Kumud Kalia, CIO and executive VP of customer operations at Direct Energy. "They read the pundits and think, 'My CIO is a techie who can't talk business.' We spend so much time admiring the 'CIO dilemma' that we are actually creating it."Stephen Davy, CIO at Newedge Group, agrees. "Why are CIO conferences still forming agendas around getting a seat at the table?" he asks. "Ten years ago, we started a movement to propel the CIO from the back room to the front room, and for the most part, we've succeeded. We should now be talking about how to capitalize on our new position, not counting the number of CIOs on boards."While it is intriguing to debate the causes of the paradox, it is time to move toward solutions. What educational tools can we develop to put in front of CEOs? How can we help sell governance to business stakeholders? What brand-new items should be on the agendas of the next CIO and CIO Executive Council conferences? Which parts of the paradox have you eliminated at your company? Send me your ideas and let's keep talking!Martha Heller is managing director of the IT Leadership Practice at ZRG Partners, an executive recruiting firm, and a cofounder of the CIO Executive Council. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.