The Shifting Roles of a CEO

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As the company continues to grow, I see my role continuing to shift. I thought it was shifting before, but it shifts even more now.

A CEO is not the chief administrative officer. It’s not the chief dictator. The CEO is not, in fact, the chief honcho in any respect.

What is the CEO?
The CEO is clearly the chief strategist. There’s no one person who can initiate, create and develop the strategic plan for the direction of the company better than the CEO. In fact, if there is any one duty that a CEO may not delegate, it is as chief strategist for the company.

Secondly, the CEO is the chief cultural officer of the company. He or she is the individual who has to make sure that the culture of the organization is not only crystal clear, but is incessantly reinforced at every level all the way from executive management down to hourly temps.

Third, the CEO is the chief education officer. The culture and the strategic direction of the company is his or her primary responsibility to disseminate and to communicate. In fact, it is not a criticism that the CEO is redundant, a “broken record,” pedantic, intellectually fastidious, and so forth. Those are accolades. The CEO must literally be a broken record, annunciating at every turn and at every opportunity the cultural landscape and the strategic direction of the company.

And fourth, the CEO must be the chief service officer of the company. If there is any one person who everyone must rely on to better understand what their role is in the entire organization, it’s the CEO. The CEO cannot, independently and by himself, produce revenue for the organization. In fact, there’s not truthfully a whole lot that a CEO can do for his organization. The only thing the CEO can do is to service the needs of the executive team, the management, the staff, and the organization as a whole.

What I continue to do is learn what I need to delegate and learn what I need to focus on. As I continue to focus, I continue to recognize what’s most important.