Everyone agrees that the CEO is ultimately responsible for a company’s performance. To be successful, he or she must take an active role in driving that performance. This requires maintaining a keen awareness of the firm's industry and market and being in touch with the core business functions to ensure the proper execution of tasks.
The CEO also serves as the interface between internal operations and external stakeholders. He or she needs to ascertain how different stakeholders expect the company to perform, interpret this for internal teams and then be sure the proper metrics accurately gauge performance. “You get what you measure” is an apt adage. The CEO sets the bar for the level of performance to be reached, regardless of the company's size, type, circumstances or stakeholders.
Some CEOs might find be content to sit back and let the job arrive at their doorstep; after all, there are always tactical things that need to be done. But successful CEOs plan how they spend their time, according to the above responsibilities (and not just tend to urgent to-dos). To successfully grow a company, the CEO should have a clear picture of how to fulfill these functions that only he or she can do, prioritize them and find balance when dealing with the onslaught of issues.
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