Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Role of the CEO

As CEO of a mid sized global company for many years, it has become clear to me that the CEO is not only the keeper of the company's vision and image, but perhaps the only person within a company with the big picture.  No matter how talented and smart a senior management group, each member comes with their personal responsibilities as a filter related to decision making.   And, it is so easy to get stuck in the muck of daily operations that very often senior managers and other lower level managers, in particular, just cannot see the forest for the trees. 

If the ship is going in the wrong direction, only the CEO, as the final authority within a company, can right the course.  And, if the ship is going too slowly because of other real or perceived priorities, it is the CEO's job to re-prioritize what is happening within the company to focus on more critical priorities in the best interest of the company.   CEO's are inherently impatient.   We want everything to happen faster.  There is a natural tendency in every organization to slow things down and to some extent, it is probably a good thing to allow for proper due diligence to avoid sinking the ship.   However, since we are all going to die and some of us sooner than later, the clock is always ticking. 

If not careful, weeks turn into months and months can turn into years before meaningful change occurs.   It is the CEO's job to make sure that this does not happen.  Failure to do so will result in the demise of the organization, which can never be an option.    

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