9 CEO Responsibilities

3.3.14  |  Author: Bouzha Cookman

Bouzha Cookman, Managing Partner Catlin & Cookman Group

We have learned that how CEOs spend their time must change to support the trajectory of their business.  However, regardless of the company's stage and size, there are nine responsibilities that always require constant attention.

We call them the nine elements of CEO effectiveness:

  1. Continuously evaluating the market and focusing on customer satisfaction 
  2. Capitalizing the company and managing corporate resources
  3. Collaboratively setting direction with Mission, Vision and an Annual Strategic Plan
  4. Creating an 'Operating System' to build, monitor, adjust, and align all employees to deliver the plan
  5. Building, leading, and evolving the Top Team
  6. Defining the Culture
  7. Focusing on Communication
  8. Building and leveraging an effective Board of Directors
  9. Engaging in continuous learning and transformation

When companies are at an early stage, items 1 and 2 are core to survival and comprise almost all activity.  Items 3-9 might begin to happen by default but usually are not systematically addressed.  They need to be. If they are not, the increasing complexity generated from growth leads to a host of problems.  Problems that include:  misalignment, confusion, wrong people in wrong roles, a lackluster work environment, squandering of resources, lost focus, silo behavior, disappointment and missed expectations -- to name just a few.    

And these problems happen when really smart, driven, passionate, high-integrity people are working around the clock to produce a successful outcome! 

It is the CEO's job to prevent those growth anchors from happening in the first place. How? By understanding how and when to engage and EVOLVE these nine elements of CEO effectiveness.  Of course, some of the actual work will be shared with others, but the responsibility always remains with the CEO.

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