The New CEO — Chief Experience Officer
Close your eyes.
I want you to think of the first person that comes to mind when I say,
Who did you think of?
Was it the visionary Steve Jobs clad in his trademark black turtleneck? Or was it Mark Zuckerberg in his daily work attire of grey T-shirt and jeans? Did you think of Warren Buffett, arguably the most astute investor in the world? Or did you think of Richard Branson, with his unique brand of flamboyance and idgaf attitude?
I’m willing to bet that the CEO that first came to your mind is dependent on your values, beliefs, personality as well as the generation you hail from. It’s likely that millennials would typically call to mind Mark Zuckerberg or Evan Spiegel; female entrepreneurs might think of role models such as Arianna Huffington, Ivanka Trump, Jessica Alba, JK Rowling and maybe even Beyonce.
However, I’m almost 100% positive that when you thought CEO, every single one of you thought Chief Executive Officer.
A quick Google search defines CEO as well, the Big Kahuna of everything. The person who decides the strategic direction of the company, the person who makes sure the company is running as a well oiled machine and most of all, the person who makes sure the company is growing and profitable.
However, as a young CEO in a new generation, I would like to redefine my role and replace the words that make up that acronym to that of Chief Experience Officer. I believe that my job is to make sure that everyone — our users, customers, stakeholders and employees … basically everyone that comes into contact with our brand in any way, has a truly positive experience.
This was largely inspired by a recent video I saw from InVision, where Netflix product designer Andy Law opines that “…… if you can create an amazing experience, it’s going to help improve your business.”; in the same video, Xero head of design Philip Fierlinger explains that while engineers think about systems, designers have to think about people — their emotional states, quirks and idiosyncrasies.
Because we are a people focused company, everything we care about and work towards is centred around creating value, joy and delight. This in turn translates to our company culture that encourages creativity, empathy, adaptability and efficiency.
So I encourage you to think about your role and what you truly enjoy about it; then redefine it to suit your strengths, personality and what you can bring to the table. Job descriptions, unlike the Ten Commandments, are not set in stone.
To quote The Beatles:
“In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make”.