Monday, September 17, 2012

The Company President/CEO Role

The President or CEO of a company has a critical role to play, which is enhanced if that same person is the Founder of the company.  Sometimes creative Founders are not able to make the transition from Founder to day to day business leader.  When that becomes apparent, the Founder should take a CEO role and hire a President to run the company; though many times that is very difficult to do because most Founders just can't let go.  Believe me, as the Founder, CEO and President of our holding company, it would be impossible for me to stay out of running our company.

However, that said, the President/CEO's role is to establish the Vision, or Mission for the company and to work with Management to both develop and implement the short and long term Strategic Plan to grow the company.  Companies not focused on growth are usually swallowed up by other companies, or just go out of business altogether.   From my perspective, I think in ten year periods.   As a company President, I can see out that far recognizing that there can be two steps forward and one step backwards related to a Strategic Plan because of factors beyond our control.  And, a good Strategic Plan is not the 10 Commandants, handed down by God and then etched in stone.   A Strategic Plan is an organic concept that is subject to change based on external events. 

The President/CEO of a company must put a solid management team in place in order to achieve the company's long term growth objectives.   For that reason, I approve all management new hires.  I am looking for the "package"; education, business and personal life experiences,  the right personality for the job, track record, great attitude, family stability, often ability to travel, and long term potential.  I am not only interested in whether the person can do the job in question, but also other jobs in the company down the road related to longer term career development.   I actually also review resumes prior to hire of our front line employees that touch our customers.  This would be impossible in larger companies and one day soon I will have to give up this practice as well, which is regretable. 

No doubt, most employees wonder what the heck the President/CEO of a company does all day.   In my case, dealing with about 300 emails a day consumes a lot of my time.   In addition, I change hats about every 15 minutes, going from topic, or issue to issue, literally around the world.  The typical President/CEO must be able to multi-task working on ten or more things at once.   Being the President/CEO of a company is a tough job; but also very rewarding. 

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