Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Categories
1
1
Are you sure you want to be the CEO?

 

A CEO’s responsibilities: everything, especially in a startup. The CEO is responsible for the success or failure of the company. Operations, marketing, strategy, financing, creation of company culture, human resources, hiring, firing, compliance with safety regulations, sales, PR, etc. it all falls on the CEO’s shoulders.

The CEO’s duties are what she actually does, the responsibilities she doesn’t delegate. Some things can’t be delegated. Creating culture, building the senior management team, financing road shows, and, indeed, the delegation itself can be done only by the CEO.

Many start-up CEOs think fund-raising is their most important duty. I disagree. Fund-raising is necessary, but the CEOs contribution is in building a superb business with the money raised.

Setting strategy and vision. 

The senior management team can help develop strategy. Investors can approve a business plan. But the CEO ultimately sets the direction. Which markets will the company enter? Against which competitors? With what product lines? How will the company differentiate itself? The CEO decides, sets budgets, forms partnerships, and hires a team to steer the company accordingly.

Building culture. 

Work gets done through people, and people are profoundly affected by culture. A lousy place to work can drive away high performers. After all, they have their pick of places to work. And a great place to work can attract and retain the very best.

Culture is built in dozens of ways, and the CEO sets the tone. Her every action—or inaction—sends cultural messages (see "Life Under a Magnifying Glass"). Clothes send signals about how formal the workplace is. Who she talks to signals who is and isn’t important. How she treats mistakes (feedback or failure?) sends signals about risk-taking. Who she fires, what she puts up with, and what she rewards shape the culture powerfully.

A project team worked weekends launching a multimedia web site on a tight deadline. Their CEO was on holiday when the site launched. She didn’t call to congratulate the team. To her, it was a matter of keeping her personal life sacred. To the team, it was a message that her personal life was more important than the weekends and evenings they had put in to meet the deadline. Next time, they may not work quite so hard. The emotion and effect on the culture was real, even if it wasn’t what the CEO intended. Congratulations from the CEO on a job well done can motivate a team like nothing else. Silence can demotivate just as quickly.

Team-building

The CEO hires, fires, and leads the senior management team. They, in turn, hire, fire, and lead the rest of the organization.

The CEO must be able to hire and fire non-performers. She must resolve differences between senior team members, and keep them working together in a common direction. She sets direction by communicating the strategy and vision of where the company is going. Strategy sets a direction. With clear direction, the team can rally together and make it happen.

Don’t underestimate the power of setting direction. In 1991, at Intuit’s new employee orientation, CEO Scott Cook presented his vision of Intuit as the center of computerized personal finance. Intuit had just 120 employees and one product. Ten years later, it’s a billion-dollar company with thousands of employees and dozens of products. Worldwide, it is the winner in personal finance, bar none. The success is due in no small part to every Intuit employee knowing and sharing the company’s vision and strategy.

If vision is where the company is going, values tell how the company gets there. Values outline acceptable behavior. The CEO conveys values through actions and reactions to others. Slipping a ship schedule to meet quality levels sends a message of valuing quality.Not over-celebrating a team’s heroic recovery when they could have avoided a problem altogether sends a message about prevention versus damage control. People take their cues about interpersonal values—trust, honesty, openness—from CEO’s actions as well.

Capital allocation

The CEO sets budgets within the firm. She funds projects which support the strategy, and ramps down projects which lose money or don’t support the strategy. She considers carefully the company’s major expenditures, and manages the firm’s capital. If the company can’t use each dollar raised from investors to produce at least $1 of shareholder value, she decides when to return money to the investors. Some CEOs don’t consider themselves financial people, but at the end of the day, it is their decisions that determine the company’s financial fate.

 

 

More Articles
- X-Men: Apocalypse' Trounces Alice With $8.2M Thursday Night
- My Prince Experience - Tony Lesesne
- South Florida's new wave of Artistic talent - MUMFF
- FEDS reply to Apple
- Apple gets backing in FBI Phone case
- Star Wars: Episode VIII begins filming
- 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Named Best Sports Car for the Money
- FCC plan would give consumer control of set-top box
- Birth of a nation sells at Sundance for $17.5 Million
- Netflix subscribers set to hit 100mil by 2017
- Wednesday Night Comedy show to hit Miami
- NATPE 2016- Ted Sarandos of Netflix to moderate
- Tesla Model X - The high performance SUV
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens blasts away box office records
- Mazda to Showcase 'Car as Art' Exhibit
- The new Jeep Cherokee reinvigorates the 4x4
- Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall Volunteers Distribute Food
- CareerSource SFL gets top award- FL department of education
- Miami Dolphins Announce 50th Season all time team
- Mazda to Unveil All-New CX-9
- T-Mobile CEO thinks Blackberry might be making a comeback
- The new 2016 Nissan Titan XD takes a gamble
- National Flight Academy receives grant to educate youth
- Ford program recognized by White House initiative
- Understanding the power of the black consumer
- JM Family- Nominations for African American Achievers awards
- MUMFF 2015 - A major success
- Tesla gets a power updgrade on the Model S
- Runcible, a new smartphone shaped like a pocketwatch
- Dynamic performance of the Dodge Viper ACR 2016
- 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Fuel Economy Improves Dramatic 25%
- Future car stirs surprise in San Francisco
- LMG announces BECON TV as Newest Media Partner
- Miami Music Club - Giving drummers a chance to shine
- 5 Things to know about Miami's Tech Scene
- BETH BRAEN TO LEAVE NATPE TO LAUNCH NEW COMPANY
- MIA Urban Music & Film Fest building an entertainment hub
- Dodge Viper GT3 proves fastest track car 2015
- Miami Urban Music and Film Festival 2015 is on the horizon
- MIA Urban Music & Film Festival September 25th & 26th
- One of the last Tuskegee Airmen Lt. Col. Williams passes
- Google Cardboard: How VR and AR could take off at Google IO
- Carol City High Defeats Dillard, 31-28
- ASPA Awards recipients 2015
- LMG Entertainment screens six projects at MMFM
- Miami Dolphins Rookies Rebuilding Together Event
- Mazda Reports Second-Best May Since 1996
- LMG is June 2015 Supplier of the Month at Broward College
- Stan Lee brings World of Superheroes to YouTube Spaces
- Surprising ways to lower your data usage
- Chevy Introduces 2016 Corvette Z06 C7.R
- Twitter designs new home page to flock new users
- Teen cuts into Apple watch band market
- DAWG FIGHT Review
- Auto advances - The center of Ft. Lauderdale Auto Show 2015
- Ground breaking Rock Band game to make a return on next gen
- Blast Motion Signs Miami HEAT'S James Ennis
- Sea snails now make the strongest material on the planet
- JM Family Announces 2015 African American Achievers
- The Kingsmen Secret Service Review
- 50 Shades of Grey Review
- Hidden Apollo 11 artifacts found in Neil Armstrongs closet
- MAZDA PREVIEWS MX-5 MIATA CONCEPT
- New VP and General Counsel - South East Toyota Distributors
- Comcast Highlights waves made in the Black Community
- Geoffrey Alardo named M-DCPS Teacher of the year
- Mazda names Jacob Brown Product Comm Specialist
- Black Tech week to position SFL to be a Hub for business
- New Media CEO Suzanne McDonald wins top intl Business Award
- Genetically modded mosquitoes could be released in the keys
- LMG visits NATPE 2015 - Day 1
- Benefits of Pressured Decision Making
- Should there be a limit to artistic and journalistic freedom
- AutoFOCUS - What's the Appeal; My top 3 features
- Family Fest: Seeds of the African Diaspora
- Streaming devices poised to dominate the viewing preference
- The World's Smallest PC
- Chris Rock's Top Five Review
- 6 Ways to kick off 2015 on a High Note
- Mazda reports best annual sales in 20 years
- Cable Giants Partner For Set-Top Box Data
- NATPE Announces on Pace Registration numbers for NATPE 2015
- Raquel Regalado visits Miami High During ‘Hour of Code
- Boxing expert James Smith signs deal w/ Creative Talent inc
- Miami Beach's Alton Road finally completed
- Gloria Estefan Talks Autobiographical Musical, On Your Feet!
- Space probe makes first ever landing onto a comet
- Live local and diverse entertainment ready to take the stage
- 13th Annual AutoFOCUS Awards Recap
- 6 Surprising facts about Diabetes
- MIA Artist to tag Middle School to raise money
- Stampede of 2015 Custom Ford Mustangs
- Miami's Tobacco Road Last Call after 102 Years
- VP of SAMA to be awarded at upcoming AutoFOCUS Awards
- 13th Annual AutoFOCUS Awards to leverage past/advance future
- American Sabor tells Mia's Latin Culture in American Music
- New Miami Central Train Station could become an urban Hub
- Premium Cable Content...without cable
- NATPE 2015 announces Market and Conference Theme
- MAZDA2 Wins Japan's Car of the year