Fred Wilson wrote an iconic site post many years back entitled What a CEO does. In it, he outlined 3 broad themes:
A CEO does only a few items. Sets the general vision and approach of the enterprise and communicates it to all stakeholders. Recruits, hires, and retains the quite most effective talent for the business. Tends to make positive there is often ample hard cash in the financial institution.
I wrote a reaction in a article entitled What Does a CEO Do, Anyway?, in which I added some specificity to those people three merchandise and additional a few essential behaviors of thriving CEOs. I also extra to Fred’s checklist when I wrote Startup CEO, CEOs have to build and direct a board of directors, CEOs have to deal with on their own, and CEOs in the end have to think about and execute exits.
But recently, as I have been coaching a couple CEOs, I’ve answered the question otherwise, since the concerns have been a small considerably less about the wide themes and a lot more about how to prioritize — how to know what NOT to do. So in addition to Fred’s knowledge and my other thoughts above, here’s the solution I’m supplying CEOs these times:
- First, do what you Need to do. There are some matters that are in your occupation description. Do them initial. You have to run your board meeting. You have to pitch investors. You have to publish general performance assessments for your immediate reviews.
- Second, do what ONLY YOU can do. There are also some points that, even though not in your work description, are matters that CEOs and/or founders have exclusive impact when they do. No a single can contact a staff member who just dropped a guardian or husband or wife and provide help and sympathy like you can. No one can get on a airplane and conserve a important purchaser from leaving you like you can. No just one can congratulate a income rep on a essential get like you can.
- 3rd, do what you’re Most effective IN Course at. Finally, there are matters that could be in other people’s work descriptions, but where you’re the more robust executer. I bear in mind reading through many years ago that Invoice Gates, extended soon after he even stopped staying CEO of Microsoft and was Chairman, even now received included in some main technological architecture conclusions and assessments. Whatsoever your superpower is, or regardless of what it was when you ended up in your pre-CEO work opportunities, there is no rationale not to jump in and support your crew excel at (and preferably educate/mentor them) when you can.
Immediately after that, you can fill in the rest of your time with other duties. In the globe of Covey’s major rocks, this is all the sand. All the other factors that come by your desk or inbox that people check with of you. They are the least essential. With any luck , this is a further handy lens on how CEOs must invest their time.