5 Tasks That Should Be Part of Your Job Description As the CEO Make sure you're responsible for these five activities, and you'll watch your business grow.

By Scott Duffy Originally published

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

gilaxia | Getty Images

The following excerpt is from Scott Duffy's book Breakthrough. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | IndieBound or click here to buy it directly from us and SAVE 60% on this book when you use code LEAD2021 through 4/10/21.

I often ask entrepreneur CEOs the following question: What's your responsibility as the person in charge of your business?

This is often met with a blank stare. Other times I get a vague response, something like, "Well, I do a lot of things. I guess my job is to keep the company or project moving forward."

These aren't useful answers. It's no wonder many CEOs just ricochet between crises without any real thought about how to proactively drive the company forward.

Before you assemble your team, you must be absolutely clear on what your role and day-to-day responsibilities will be leading the company. Knowing what to focus on will also help ensure you're not spending your time in other people's business and getting in the way of them doing their jobs.

Following are some of the most important parts of your day-to-day CEO job description:

The CEO is responsible for the vision and direction of the company

This seems straightforward enough, but it's more complicated than it sounds. You have to look at the horizon and know where you want to take your company. This kind of vision differs from a goal on your mission statement; your vision is a measurable three-, five- or ten-year view of where you want to be.

I recommend starting with the sales and profits you hope to achieve, then work­ing backward to see what it will take to make it happen. You'll need clear drivers, processes, and accountability to manage your company's progress toward your vision. In short, having a vision is worthless unless you can engineer the specifics to achieve it.

Related: Creating a Tribe That Will Help Your Business Succeed

The CEO has the ultimate responsibility for cash.

You may think watching the cash is the CFO, accountant, or bookkeeper's job, but no.

For any company, cash and access to cash is its lifeblood, the air it breathes. If you run out of cash, you're done. You'd be surprised how quickly a fast-growing company with high profit margins can run short of cash. You may have to use up cash to add to your working capital, build up inventory, or finance your accounts receivable. Managing the monetary ebb and flow is ultimately the CEO's responsibility because it's so vital to the health and survival of your business.

The CEO must ensure that the right people are in the right jobs at the right time.

CEOs may be sentimentally attached to longtime employees who've been there from the beginning. They refuse to let them go or move them aside, even if they're no longer benefi­cial to the company.

As the business grows, you'll need to make changes. The people who got you to one threshold may not be the people you need to take you to the next level. The CEO, hard-hearted though it may seem, must be dispassionate about hiring and fir­ing. If you can only afford two salespeople, they need to be the two best salespeople you can find. Some people operate better in startups than in more mature businesses. Recognize your people's strengths and weaknesses, and don't wait too long to bring in new talent. The wrong employees will bring you down.

Related: 5 Steps to Take Control of Your Personal Brand

The CEO is responsible for key relationships.

The CEO must "own" the key relationships in the company, such as those with bank­ers, key vendors, the biggest customers, and shareholders. Any outsider with the power to alter the future of your company -- by ordering, selling, lending, etc. -- needs to have access to you (and you to them). You want them to feel comfortable calling you up at any hour of the day or night. Too often, business owners hand over these relationships to high-level employees. But what happens if those employees leave and take the accounts with them? You cannot -- and should not -- keep control over every contact. But know who the key ones are and keep them close.

The CEO must have processes in place to continue learning.

You did your market research before you started your company, right? Back then, you had nothing on the line. But now that your life is tied up in your enterprise, be diligent about keeping up with what's going on in your industry, with your competitors, and with your customers.

Business changes faster than ever these days, and the annals of recent corporate history are littered with the bones of com­panies that didn't evolve or adapt fast enough to survive the rapidly shifting environment. Go to conferences, talk to consul­tants, and get to know your rivals. Use tools like Google Alerts and LinkedIn to help you keep track of what's happening in your field and outside it. Read trade blogs and ezines. Look to learn -- as well as sell -- when you're out in the field, whether it's one-on-one or at a convention with thousands of attendees or meeting customers at a small event. Hire a business coach and put together an advisory board to gain experience and wisdom from people who can help you stay current.

Related: What Is Your Entrepreneurial Kryptonite?

The CEO must be a cheerleader.

You must communicate what's going on to the rest of the team, explaining the company's results and getting employees onboard with your vision for the future. If you want them to buy into what you're selling, you have to align their best interests with your best interests. Often the best way to do that is through open and engaging communication.

Did you enjoy your book preview? Click here to grab a copy today—now 60% off when you use code LEAD2021 through 4/10/21.

Scott Duffy

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Entrepreneur and Keynote Speaker

Scott Duffy is an entrepreneur and keynote speaker. He is Founder & CEO of Courus, sold his prior company to Virgin, held leadership roles at FOXSports.com, NBC Internet, CBS Sportsline. He is listed as a “Top 10 Speaker” by Entrepreneur & provided commentary on CNBC, FOX News, and CBS Radio.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Business News

He Won the $2 Billion Powerball Jackpot. Now He's Snatching Up Swanky Homes Across Los Angeles.

Thirty-one-year-old Edwin Castro took his winnings as a lump sum.

Operations & Logistics

3 Ways Logistics Leaders Can Edge the Competition by Embracing Industry Problems

Success often comes to those who stay focused on the problems they're trying to solve, rather than getting fixated on their solution.


Don't Be a Boring Brand – How to Create Brand Distinction That Has Everyone Turning Their Heads

In the minds of most consumers, you're selling commodities — unless you've created a brand distinction. This article will show you how to craft a brand that's not just known but unforgettable.

Business News

Dads Who Do This Simple Activity With Their Kids for 10 Minutes a Day Are More Likely to Raise High Achievers

The straightforward approach can give children an advantage over their peers.

Business News

Taylor Swift Reportedly Pays All Restaurant-Goers' Checks to Clear Out Restaurant For Her and NFL Star Travis Kelce

The star was spotted at Arrowhead Stadium for the Kansas City Chiefs game Sunday night alongside Kelce's mother.

Business News

Costco Is Now Offering an Additional Exclusive Perk to Members in All 50 States

Members can now access discounted outpatient medical care through a partnership with healthcare startup Sesame.