What are the main roles of a CEO?
A CEO is the leader of a company and has five main roles.
- Succession Planning
Each of these roles are performed in order to achieve a set of results that separate great companies from good companies.
While there are many changes that can impact these results, the five key roles that should be performed by the CEO that will have the greatest effect on the business are detailed below.
- Accountability – There is accountability for all employees and suppliers. A great CEO makes sure people completely understand what is expected of them. Results are transparent and consequences are clear.
- Ambassador – The CEO performs a strategic role as an ambassador. Great CEOs know you can’t be the head of the company without being the face as well. They are involved in the engagement process for employees, customers, plans and initiatives.
- Culture – A positive culture unites the team and attracts the right people. By consciously building a great culture that delivers on the needs of the right people, great CEOs become magnets for great talent.
- Strategy – The company’s strategy delivers a unique and valuable position in the marketplace that is different than its competitors. Great CEOs rely on a strategic system. They focus on becoming and remaining different within their industry.
- Succession Planning – Key risks to the business are reduced through succession planning. Great CEOs build systems to insure against people, products, customers or investments failing to perform. They are deliberately protecting the consistency of staff and supplier output and revenue stream consistency, knowing the impact on growth and profit.
What results should a CEO make?
A great CEO as the leader of a company should be achieving the following results.
- Higher percentage of top performers
- Higher retention
- Higher productivity
- Consistent growth
- Consistent results
An outline of the results that CEOs should achieve are detailed below.
- Higher percentage of top performers – top performers, the top 10% within an industry, are attracted to working for great CEOs who are producing better results. These highly motivated and driven employees simply can’t work for leaders they don’t view as being great. They might tolerate a good CEO, but only until they can find a better leader to join. They know a CEO who isn’t great is impacting their career, and they are acutely aware that they want their potential to count for the most.
- Higher retention – great CEOs are good role models and positively impact culture, causing employee engagement and satisfaction scores to rise. Subsequently, employees tend to stay longer as great CEOs provide less reason to leave.
- Higher productivity – great CEOs get a higher return for each dollar paid to employees. People in the organisation are more effective because both a successful strategy generally produces a higher gross profit relative to their compensation and an attractive culture is conducive to a more productive environment.
- Consistent growth – you can bank on a great CEO growing the business every quarter and every year. The efficacy of strategy, its ability to drive revenues and profits, and its ability to actively consider all potential growth-affecting issues, ensures that growth occurs no matter the environment.
- Consistent results – there are no surprises with great CEOs. They have successfully mitigated risks and have built a group of employees and suppliers who do what they’re supposed to do when they’re supposed to do it, achieving the goals they set and producing the expected results quarter after quarter.
To learn more about the 5 roles of a CEO, refer to my book Made to Thrive which details the 5 roles of a CEO, and the 5 components of each role that a CEO must perform in order to achieve great results.