What are the duties of a CEO?
A CEO is the highest-ranking executive position in an organisation, and the person occupying that office is the decision-maker in that organization. The duties of a CEO is not only in making decisions and giving commands here and there but can be far-reaching and extensive. From deciding on a strategic direction for the company to maintaining awareness of what competitors are doing, CEOs are required to lead, manage and operate at a high level to ensure the success of the business.
So what are the core duties of a CEO??
1. Deciding on a strategic direction for the company
A company's strategic direction can include its values, mission, vision, direction and overall strategy. It’s the CEO’s responsibility to figure out how all the pieces fit together, implement a plan, execute it and oversee the operation of the organization, in accordance with its overall strategy.
A CEO must determine what his/her company's unique selling proposition is and establish that proposition in the marketplace. Further, most CEOs must consider a clearly defined vision critical to a company’s success. This vision should be based on a realistic assessment of the market, the competition and the company’s potential. The vision should establish the company's overall direction and its core operating principles.
2. Being the public face of the company
A CEO is often the public face of the company. For example when you think of the Dangote Group, you think of Aliko Dangote as well as Mark Zuckerberg is synonymous with Facebook. As a result, CEOs have to take interviews and media requests, making appearances on radio and TV, issuing press releases and attending local events. Many budding entrepreneurs see figures like Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk and believe that, to be successful, they too need to build a public-facing image.
In reality, this couldn't be further from the truth. Many CEOs, for example, myself, stay hidden behind the scenes. So every entrepreneur must decide if a public facing role is his or her strong suit because not everyone is endowed with such charisma.
3. Reporting to the board of directors
In a standard corporation, a CEO will report to a board of directors and often seek their advice and guidance. The CEO is often chosen by this board. But executive appointments are contingent on the company's structure. In some cases, the company was founded by the CEO, who may own the majority of the company's stock.
In this light, the board’s authority in the company will vary greatly, depending on the CEO’s overall involvement, as he or she may actually serve on the board and be its chairman. This is a contentious subject, as many believe that the chairman of the board and CEO should be separate positions, allowing for better company oversight.
4. Creating a business network
Creating a business network can serve a variety of purposes in an organization and is an important duty for a CEO to take on. This can include connecting with vendors, uncovering potential acquisition opportunities, joining or attending relevant industry events, sharing challenges with peers and mentors, starting local meetup groups and more.
Above all, relationships are at the foundation of business; the ability to share and exchange ideas with others is invaluable. And, there’s a good chance a company's next wave of growth will come from the breakthroughs the CEO creates through relationships.
Growing his or her expertise is valuable, but it likely won’t compare to the progress the leader can make by building strategic connections.
5. Finding acquisition opportunities
Increasing sales isn’t the only way for a company to grow. The past few years have revealed to us that buying off your competitors or other smaller businesses can boost a company's productiveness. But it's not just enterprise-level companies that make acquisitions.
The benefits of a potential purchase can include personnel, relationships, reputation, data, access to a different market segment, equipment and other resources. Acquiring a competitor or a business in a related market can increase the efficiency of a company and allow it to expand at a rate that otherwise might not have thought possible.