CEO’s Job| It’s easy if you do it smart!
How not to download a nightmare.
Things that no one else but only the CEO can do and must do. It requires awareness, intent and conscious action — THE REASON WHY YOU SHOULD CARE!
I was fortunate to become a CEO of an MNC in my early thirties. The year was 2005.Most of the advice that I came across was oriented towards giving directions on how not to mess up.
2005 was also when Peter F Drucker passed away. I looked up the maverick management guru’s insights on the role of a CEO. In practice through my next few years that I have led large 1000 +/- people teams, Drucker’s insights have stood me in good stead.
The requirements at CEO level don’t grow vertically — they grow exponentially.
I produce here my own take on the 3 things that only the CEO can do.
- Play the Inside-Outside Game
The ‘inside’ refers to the organisation.
CEOs are rock-stars. As faces of the company, they have a great stake in defining ‘a meaningful outside’ which may vary at different life cycle stages of an organisation.
Linking the organisation (the inside) with the meaningful outside (which could be technology, society, economy, markets or the customer) requires a CEO to identify and focus on what results are the most meaningful.
2. Trade-off Right
This one is the ‘to-be-or-not-to-be’ decision.
CEOs are constantly challenged between balancing present and future, between growth and consolidation, between what is and what could be — all the ‘between’ decisions. This comes more out of experience than base facts.
A CEO’s job is not a solo act — it is a collaboration.
3. Building the organisation EQ
An institution is the lengthened shadow of a man.
It is up to the CEO to develop the culture, shape values and set standards. This is the genetic code of the company or the operating system. This is the most important job.
The CEO is uniquely positioned and more importantly accountable and empowered to ensure the above three.
No one else is!
These three areas should receive conscious and the greatest attention of a CEO. In majority of cases they do not.
CEOs are challenged on several accounts including many-a-time by internal stakeholders’ demands — to break free of this last one (the inside gravity) requires navigation skills which come only with experience.
Some CEOs might be content to sit back and let the job arrive at their doorstep; after all, there are always tactical things that need to be done. But successful CEOs plan how they spend their time. To successfully grow a company, the CEO should have a clear picture of how to fulfil these functions that only he or she can do, prioritise them and find balance when dealing with the onslaught of issues.