What does a successful CEO do all day? Run the company, right? Not so–if things are running as they should, that is the job of the Chief Operating Officer, or COO. As a CEO or an entrepreneur that hopes to one day be a CEO, it’s important that you understand your true role–what you should focus on, and what you should leave to others on your executive team.
Responsibilities are not the same as duties, and what a successful CEO actually does day-to-day may surprise you.
Here are the top five duties performed by CEOs who are doing it right:
1. Grow the company
A company is always growing or shrinking, so it’s your job to ensure the company is heading in the right direction. Growth generally means more profit and protection of continuity, which is important to the board and every employee in the firm.
2. Be the company’s biggest ambassador
As CEO, you are the face of the company. Your actions and words reflect directly on the company, so it’s imperative that you are its biggest cheerleader. You have to believe in what your organization is working to accomplish and speak to that end whenever given the opportunity. You must be able to earnestly and enthusiastically speak to the company’s mission, vision, and goals in a way that resonates with a variety of audiences.
3. Recruit the best talent
A company is the sum of its people: its most valuable assets. You are the Chief Recruiter, responsible for attracting the right people for the right positions. You may not be directly responsible for all hiring decisions, but you are responsible for leading the recruitment process and ensuring that those who are responsible are equipped and prepared to hire the best. Your goal should be Constant Talent Acquisition–always looking for new contributors because the best aren’t available for long and typically won’t be around if you limit hiring to when you “need” more people.
4. Expand the company’s offerings
A successful company is always looking for the next best way to serve its customers with new products or services. Today’s world changes faster than ever before, and the best CEOs keep their thumb on the pulse of their industry and target market so they can lead others to innovation that keeps the company relevant and customers happy.
5. Recognize and motivate employees
The CEO is responsible for a company’s culture, and a company’s culture is the collective behavior and attitudes of its employees. A good CEO knows how important it is to recognize employees for their contributions and successes. You should continually look for ways to serve your employees to keep them satisfied and motivated. The best CEOs know that serving employees is just as critical as serving customers … because it’s ultimately their people who serve their customers.
At the end of the day, you are the most influential leader in the company–and a good leader does everything in their power to enable the success of those they lead. You must empower your fellow officers and company leaders to steer each and every employee towards personal success, and thus the success of the company as a whole.
Does this list surprise you? Do you think there’s something I missed? I welcome your input in the comments below.