What’s My Role as CEO? Five Perspectives

Situation: The CEO questions whether he is the right person to lead the Company. The Company has solid revenues and profitability, but growth is lower than expected. How can the CEO improve his situation and solidify his leadership?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • The primary functions of the CEO are to assure the maintenance of company values, to provide vision, and to monitor resource allocation within the company.
  • Identify your strengths, and the most important areas where you need help. Create an organizational chart not of positions but of strengths that are needed within the company. Compare these positions with your own strengths, and focus your own activities on your strengths. Promote or hire talent to support you in the latter areas.
    • As you hire or promote and delegate, make sure that you are allowing those with new responsibility the latitude to run their areas of responsibility.
  • Should I consider hiring a CEO or COO?
    • Maybe. If you do, first identify the key leadership traits that we most want to see in a candidate.
    • If you hire a CEO, this individual should have skin in the game. They must be perceived as a leader, and there must be a clean hand-off.
    • Consider hiring a COO. This can be someone willing to take this role with the understanding that your long-term objective is to replace yourself as CEO. A person unwilling to come on as COO and to develop into the CEO may not be the right candidate.

Key Words: Leadership, Role, Strengths, Delegation, Organizational Chart, Values, Vision, Resource Allocation, CEO, COO                                                            

3 thoughts on “What’s My Role as CEO? Five Perspectives

  1. Doug Skonord

    These are the CEOs responsibilities:
    • Insuring the financial integrity of the business process
    *Establish and oversee product/service pricing system
    * Making major capital decisions
    * Budgeting process and financial reporting
    * Determining and managing the employee compensation program
    • Continuously increasing the efficiency of the company systems
    *New Product or new service development
    *Quality Tools/Critical Measures of Success/Team Culture
    *MIS System
    *Documented Policies/Procedures/Operating instructions
    *Process for selection and hiring of personnel
    *Formal employee development and training program
    *Formal operational communications program
    • Taking responsibility for the Organizational Personality
    *Establishing and instilling positive values throughout the company
    *Establishing an environment of effective teamwork
    *Establishing an environment where employees can develop and grow
    • Senior Management Team leader
    *Strategic Planning, Goals & Objectives
    *Senior Management Operational Meetings
    *Selection and hiring of senior management personnel.
    *Training/development of senior management functional leaders
    • Determine organizational design & redesign
    • Assessing the effectiveness of the organization in the marketplace.
    • Establishing strategic partnerships. “A” Customers or “A” Suppliers.
    • Purchasing/Building a new facility
    • Arranging for external financing
    • Acquiring another company

    If your company is doing all these things really well, you are the right person and growth will happen. If you want to hire someone else, this is what they will need to do.

  2. Sandy Post author

    Quite the list, Doug. Of these, what are the top 5 in your mind – with the understanding that this will depend upon the situation facing the company.

  3. Doug Skonord

    Sandy, consider this analogy: What are the 5 most important things on a car? Truth be told, the motor isn’t more important that the wheels, etc.. You need all the major parts to have a car that functions. Likewise, in a company with at least 100 employees, you need to have some level of competency in all of the above. The reason so many companies are marginal performers is because the CEO has limited perspective and limited competencies. Being “General Manager” requires many very specific skills. These collection of specific skills are the foundation for driving functional excellence throughout the organization.

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