Who is a CEO?
The CEO is the highest authority in the company’s hierarchy. He is in charge of the business as a whole, from production, employees, investors, marketing, in short.
He is the leader, who keeps the entire team together and focused on achieving the mission and respecting the company’s vision.
There at the top of strategic and operational decisions, he takes care that the business continues in the right direction and that the team follows the culture and values of the organization.
More than that, the CEO is the face, the identity of the company. What name comes to your mind when you hear about… Facebook? Apple? Yeah. It is the image of the CEO that is imprinted on people’s heads when they think of that company.
Among the most well-known CEOs in the world we highlight Bill Gates (Microsoft), Larry Page (Google), Jeff Bezos (Amazon) who stand out in the technology industry for their extraordinary performance. Ahead of their companies they created real empires, built innovations and a large part of their legacy.
Thus, these executives are largely responsible, both for taking care of the development of their products, as well as for the strategic direction of the company.
This is, in itself, an important competitive differential, because when we hear the names of great CEOs, we automatically associate them with their organizations.
However, nowadays, even in small companies, we see professionals calling themselves CEOs, which causes some confusion, as we always associate this position with the top echelons.
Even so, we can understand that when using this term, entrepreneurs are only meaning, in a more elaborate way, that they are the main managers of their companies.
Even so, the meaningful CEO goes further, since more than the highest position in the company’s hierarchy, this position denotes the importance of the figure of this professional.
This, in turn, must have differentiated competences and skills, systemic vision, entrepreneurial and innovative spirit, make assertive decisions, have clear and objective communication and skills in interpersonal relationships.
This latter quality is not unanimous among CEOs, who are often also known for their strong temperament, which is not always pleasing to the closest followers and subordinates. Still, the genius of Chiefs, like Steve Jobs, for example, means that even his improvement points are seen as his strengths. Wonderful!
What is the job of a CEO?
This is not a position like any other in the company. So much so that it doesn’t even exist in all organizations. It is perhaps the most coveted, but it is also the most challenging.
Although the job of a CEO is simple, it is not easy. Being CEO demands a lot from the person. Because, in a sentence, the CEO is responsible for the success or failure of the company. It is a very strong statement, but along the lines you will understand why it makes sense.
The CEO is responsible for making strategic business decisions and also for taking care of development and production.
However, having all this power within the company does not mean that the CEO can do absolutely anything he wants. That is why there is a Board of Directors existing in a company.
The Chief Executive Officer must deal with the entire spectrum of the business: product or service, employees, customers, investors, the law, the government, the press.
He is responsible for guiding the company, from production to commercial. Therefore, you need to have an excellent view of the macro, of the whole.
A CEO’s job description includes defining the strategies the company will follow and what are the appropriate management policies for the organization. This means taking care that the company’s objectives and goals are achieved.
Although the CEO has the help of other directors, but there are some functions intrinsic to the CEO. That is, things he cannot delegate:
Defines the vision, mission and strategic direction of the business
Vision is where you want your business to go, where it’s going. Mission is the company’s life purpose, the reason why it stands.
Conduct a company’s management and market posture
The CEO, as he is the top of the hierarchy, is in charge of guiding and managing the business from the big toe to the last hair of the company. The CEO doesn’t need to get his hands dirty at all, but rather understand how things work to be a good manager.
Define the company’s culture and values and make sure that everyone follows them
It is essential to have a well-defined company culture, because this is how the CEO will attract employees who have an affinity with these values. That’s how it creates an environment in which people will enjoy working.
Needless to say, the CEO not only defines values, but must be the greatest example of how they work in practice.
Lead the team
In general, he leads from the directors to the most junior employees. He also builds the senior management team (the directors).
Approve how company money is spent
Of course, the CFO is the Chief Financial Officer, but spending needs to go through the CEO’s approval, because his decisions directly impact the direction the company is going.
These are the CEO’s intrinsic duties. But that doesn’t mean he has to decide everything himself. However, it is his responsibility to perform these functions and ensure that they run smoothly.
The CEO also needs to be connected both in the bureaucratic and strategic part, as well as in the creative part. It does not mean that he has to know how to do everything, but he needs to know how to lead all sectors of the company.
Apart from these points rooted in the role, the CEO is often also responsible for maintaining relations with the press, making announcements of product or service launches and contacts with business partners.
What do CEOs do every day?
What you have looked at so far is the CEO’s intrinsic responsibilities, but he doesn’t just take care of that every day.
He doesn’t have to define the company’s mission, vision and values every morning, for example. Still, this is a complex question, as complex as guiding a company like CEOs do. The answer depends on factors such as: size, type of company, number of employees …
The trend is that the smaller the company, the fewer employees. Soon, fewer hands to do everything that needs to be done.
In a single-person company or with at most one partner, the CEO tends to get his hands dirty from customer support to finance.
The bigger the company, the more employees, that is, more people to delegate to.
But just to give you an idea of the day to day of a CEO …
I saw this survey of 27 CEOs of large companies that revealed that 72% of an Executive Director’s time is occupied with meetings. And that e-mail consumes about 1/4 of daily life.
Not to mention external responsibilities: negotiations with partners and business trips, for example. The same survey found that 79% of CEOs work about 4 hours on weekends.
This routine varies from company to company.