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December 30, 2012

What Does a CEO Do? - Part 2

An effective person is fully role-aware. She is fully conscious of the responsibilities that come with her role. As a front line manager, she had played her part. As a mid-level manager, then as a VP and so on, she had played in many roles effectively. Now she aspires to being at the helm, being a CEO. How can she retain her effectiveness despite the role change?

According to Tales from the top, a CEO should concentrate on - strategy/vision, customers, finance, and inspiration/corporate culture. CEO has four key result areas in all. To this, Konosuke Matsushita may add supplier/partner relations.

According to Parkinson Law, the No. 1 is to do whatever others cannot and will not do, including switching off lights before leaving office etc.

According to Titan, John D Rockefeller shirked everything. He also advised others to shirk and to concentrate on thinking how to make more money for his Standard Oil.

According to Andrew Carnegie, a CEO like him can run a company like US Steel with about 2 hours every morning. But then, you may later have to hear "Meet You in Hell" from your second-in-command.

Please check out What Only the CEO Can Do in HBR too.

Compiling their wisdom with what I have read from the list in one of my previous posts, I would say that a CEO should concentrate on
  • Goals, Strategy, Vision

  • Customers

  • Finance

  • Suppliers and partners

  • Gurus

  • Corporate Culture, Leadership, Inspiration, Inspection

Frankly, what the CEOs do is boring. We all know their KPI (key performance indicators.)

How they carry out those tasks, how they execute is the key.

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