An obnoxious friend of mine is constantly asking me: “What does a CEO actually do?” He does it on the page on the website whereat one may ask a question.
He then sends me irritating emails saying, “Big Red Car, you never answered my question. Do you even know the answer?”
He is a pest, but he is right I never answer him. Now, I will, but only because he has promised to buy me a steak at a restaurant of my choice — Capital Grille or Eddie V’s.
What does a CEO do?
A CEO really only has a handful of core duties.
1. A CEO has to develop and articulate a VISION for a good or service for which there is a market.
2. A CEO has to plan (Vision, Mission, Strategy, Tactics, Objectives) the conversion of the vision into an actual product.
3. A CEO has to identify, attract, hire, retain, train, develop, lead, inspire, reward, and discipline a team through which the vision will become a product.
4. A CEO has to ensure there is adequate funding — at every step of the process — to execute the plan, develop the product, compensate the team, build the product, and take it to market.
5. A CEO has to take the product to market and refine the product based on market feedback.
6. In doing this, the CEO must be a good communicator. That does not just entail the provision of information to stakeholders. The CEO has to be persuasive, an evangelist, a true believer, and the guy whose energy ignites everybody else’s fires.
7. A CEO has to share values that become the fire starter for the enterprise’s culture which once spawned he has to release to be grown by the team.
There you have it, dear reader and obnoxious friend — the core duties of a CEO.
One last thing. A really good, experienced CEO is constantly trying to set the standard and then delegating as many of his/her duties as possible. They work themselves out of a job, lower their blood pressure, work on their tan, become a scratch golfer, and learn Italian.