Being the CEO of a company may sound enticing, not least because of the salary attached. Some may even think of it as the height of success and being able to delegate tasks to employees lower on the ladder while having to do very little work. The reality is entirely different. There are, in fact, many tasks and responsibilities and a heavy workload for those who are successful.
Communicating With People on All Levels
A CEO will need excellent communication skills for dealing with everyone from shareholders and clients to members of the public. All these people will have different needs and expectations. Switching from formal to informal communication at the drop of a hat is a must. Although the CEO isn’t expected to always be on the front line, they can be required to meet with or contact customers or clients if there are any serious issues, or to secure important deals. Some choose to make a point of dealing with clients and members of the public whenever they can. The ability to recall information is important for answering awkward questions and representing the company. If they don’t know the answers, this reflects badly on the organisation. So, learning everything about the running and procedures of the business, or being able to quickly access details is a must.
They will be the face of the company in the media, whether addressing successes, failures or scandals. Because of this, no task is too big or too small.
Even writing or posting articles and other marketing content can be the job of the CEO. This has many benefits, including being accessible to the public and business associates, and sharing their knowledge of the business and other endeavors, to be relatable and highlight certain issues. This is the role Patrick James Trico has taken on, as the owner and CEO of First Brand Group. His Medium blog focusses on a range of issues and challenges faced by businesses, charities, and individuals or marginalized groups.
The way businesses operate is constantly changing, perhaps this past year more than usual. Therefore, the CEO has to constantly update their knowledge of business operations, rules and regulations, and monitoring social media amongst other things. They will also be responsible for ensuring the next in the chain of command has a similar knowledge of how the business is run and can take over in the case of sickness, holidays or other absences.
Setting and Achieving Goals
For a business to be successful, the CEO needs to set ambitious but achievable goals. These need to challenge employees, potentially reward them for achieving them, but still be attainable without making the workforce feel as though they are being overworked. Although the purpose of any business is to achieve results and make a profit, employees still need to feel valued, as without them, there would be no business. So if there are potential problems, a good CEO will be prepared to step in and help as part of the team rather than hinder.
Evaluating the Team
Although not necessarily being involved in face-to-face reviews, the CEO will be aware of the current teams and how they work together, and the strengths and weaknesses of individuals and teams. This information will be used to make use of employees in the most efficient way, pairing or teaming them together for specific tasks, with others who complement their skills and add their own.
Although employees further down the chain of command will send out standard requests for feedback, the CEO is in the best position to personally contact bigger name clients to gain feedback that can be used for marketing. These requests are less likely to be ignored.
Interviews and Other Opportunities
Despite most organizations having a marketing team, the CEO will likely be the one who is interviewed in the media, from radio and podcasts to television, trade publications and newspapers. There is a large interest in entrepreneurship because this inspires others who want to follow the same path. Again, this involves good communication skills, and the ability to navigate answers back to the organization without coming across as too pushy. This is where knowledge of the business is essential. Being able to talk about any charitable projects the business is involved in shows the human side of the CEO and the organization.
Monitor Incomings and Outgoings
A good CEO will be aware of incomings and outgoings – not least because any discrepancies will invoke either suspicion or accusations of incompetency. If there are any issues, they can investigate and in the best-case scenario put things right. Otherwise, they will have to follow the appropriate channels and seek legal help.
Overall, any successful CEO will have a diverse knowledge of the business, its intricacies, and be able to adapt to different people, groups, and difficult situations, and have a hands-on approach. The role is not as glamourous as some might assume it is, but it can be extremely rewarding.
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