5 Key Pillars Prominent CEOs Do Every Single Day, No Matter What!

Behind every company sits the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), who takes charge of the most glamorized jobs in this business game. Let's take a look at some of the key responsibilities that can't be delegated as a CEO.
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What exactly do you do in your day as a CEO of a successful company? Originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

A CEO is the organization’s highest-ranking executive manager and decision-maker. The duties of a company’s top executive can be extensive and far-reaching. CEOs must lead, manage, and operate at a high level to ensure the success of the business, from deciding on a strategic direction for the company to staying aware of what competitors are doing.

Here are some of the specific responsibilities of a CEO:

1. Deciding On a Strategic Direction for The Company

The strategic direction of a company can include its values, mission, vision, direction, and overall strategy. It is the CEO’s responsibility to figure out how all the pieces fit together, to implement a plan, to execute it, and to oversee the organization’s operations in accordance with its overarching strategy.

A company’s core values can make or break it. Adidas, for example, promises to: Commit to continuing strengthening the company’s brands and products in order to improve its competitive position. JPMorgan Chase also pledges to provide exceptional client service and operational excellence.

A CEO must identify his or her company’s unique selling proposition and establish it in the marketplace. Furthermore, most CEOs believe that a well-defined vision is critical to a company’s success. This vision should be founded on a realistic assessment of the market, the competition, and the potential of the company. The vision should establish the overall direction of the company as well as its core operating principles.

2. Being The Public Face of the Company

A CEO is frequently the company’s public face. Mark Zuckerberg, for example, has become synonymous with Facebook. As a result, duties may include fielding interviews and media requests, appearing on radio and television, issuing press releases, and attending local events. Many aspiring entrepreneurs see figures like Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk and believe that in order to be successful, they, too, must cultivate a public persona.

In reality, nothing could be farther from the truth. Many CEOs, such as the Koch brothers, prefer to remain anonymous behind the scenes; therefore, every entrepreneur must consider whether a public-facing role is his or her strong suit. Mark Zuckerberg may be doing more harm than good to Facebook’s reputation these days.

3. Reporting to The Board of Directors

A CEO in a typical corporation will report to a board of directors and frequently seek their advice and guidance. This board frequently selects the CEO. However, executive appointments are subject to the company’s organizational structure. In some cases, the CEO founded the company and may own the majority of the company’s stock.

In this regard, the board’s authority in the company will vary greatly depending on the CEO’s overall involvement, as he or she may serve on the board and serve as its chairman. This is a contentious issue, as many believe that the positions of chairman of the board and CEO should be separated to allow for better company oversight. Caterpillar, which made CEO Jim Umpleby chairman last year, is one company that has recently decided otherwise.

4. Developing A Direction for Human Resources

What are the similarities between Xerox, Dunkin’ Donuts, and General Motors? They all promoted HR VPs to CEO.

While this tactic is not yet widely used, it highlights the power of the HR department and demonstrates how a CEO should always be thinking strategically about the organization’s employees. Only when key employees continue to learn and grow will a company succeed.

Putting together a dream team is a difficult but worthwhile endeavor. Investing in employees will also help with retention. According to Udemy, 42 percent of the employees polled ranked learning and development as the most important factor in deciding whether or not to take a job. Everyone benefits if you, as CEO, can improve your team’s skills and retain key hires for a longer period of time.

5. Creating A Business Network

Creating a business network can serve a variety of purposes in an organization and is a critical task for a CEO to undertake. Connecting with vendors, identifying potential acquisition opportunities, joining or attending relevant industry events, sharing challenges with peers and mentors, establishing local meetup groups, and other activities fall under this category.

Above all, relationships are at the heart of the business; the ability to share and exchange ideas with others is priceless. And there’s a good chance that the next wave of growth for a company will come from the breakthroughs the CEO makes through relationships.

Contributed by Onzere Mudiri, CEO at Randy & Andy Events (2016–present)

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