The job description of a CEO

The success of a CEO is measured by the results delivered.

Sharp CEO

The board of directors of a company defines the goal or mission of the company and the strategy for how to get there and it is the CEO’s job is to deliver the desired results with the help of the organization.

In reality, the CEO is driving the strategy work and typically proposes a particular strategy to the board. This does not change the fact that the CEO is there mainly to deliver results. The job title says it – the CEO is the highest (chief) operational (executive) manager (officer).

The CEO must ensure that rules, regulations and laws are followed, as well as any stipulations and governance rules set by the board.

Successful CEOs will possess the following skills and characteristics:

  • A strategic mind
  • An ability to “paint the picture” of mission, values and strategy to the organization so that employees will know what to do and how to do their job
  • An ability to recruit and retain top talent
  • A thorough understanding of the company’s product offering and how it produces value for customers
  • An ability to market and sell the company’s offerings
  • Ability to draw up plans, set goals and issue orders so that the company goals will be achieved
  • Attention to detail and operational excellence

Because no company can produce their desired results without people working together, a CEO must be very good at dealing with people. Partnering with them, leading them, developing them and helping them collaborate.

This is not all. Any successful CEO will have a longer list of strengths. All CEOs have their unique skill profile and they will learn to hire close colleagues with strengths where they themselves have weaknesses. This is important because all CEOs have weaknesses.

When you ask “is the CEO doing her job?”, the answer can be found by asking “is she delivering the results we asked for?”

Marten Mickos

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  1. In a way, I guess, the US President is the CEOs of the US Government. He/she ( She, not yet, but hopefully one day!) is the Executive Branch. Would be very interesting to compare and, using the characteristics you share above, show how the last 4-5 Presidents, including Trump (from what we know about him and have seen from him already) compare. So doing this kind of “score card” would be interesting, and perhaps someone has already done one?

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