what is a ceo's job

A CEO's job is multifaceted and evolves significantly as their company grows. Initially, a CEO may be deeply involved in various operational roles due to a lack of specialized expertise within the company. However, as the organization expands, the CEO's role shifts to include different priorities and responsibilities. Here are key aspects of a CEO's job based on the provided excerpts:

  1. Navigating Role Evolution: A CEO's job description changes materially every six to 18 months, and the ways in which they add the greatest value evolve with the company's growth stages. The CEO must adapt to these changes, which can include shifts in functional responsibilities, hiring practices, and the level of oversight required over direct reports [1].

  2. Strategic Focus and Delegation: The CEO must determine what they are uniquely qualified to do, what they are obligated to do, and what they are free to do. This involves recognizing when to delegate tasks to others, especially as the organization grows in complexity and requires specialized expertise [4][7][10].

  3. Attention Management: The CEO's most precious resource is their attention. They must focus on high-impact activities and avoid being distracted by tasks that should be delegated [5].

  4. Leadership and Accountability: The CEO plays a crucial role in the leadership team, setting the tone for the organization's culture and ensuring that senior executives are held accountable for their performance. This includes providing clear role definitions, decision-making processes, and regular feedback [6].

  5. Public Representation and Communication: As the face of the company, the CEO must address important issues both internally and externally, embodying the organization's values and delivering key messages [6].

  6. Hiring and People Leadership: The CEO is involved in hiring for capacity, methodology, and innovation, which are critical for sustaining growth. They must be able to discern when the organization needs additional hands, methodological rigor, or groundbreaking innovation [3].

  7. Leading Senior Executives: CEOs leading senior executives for the first time must balance granting autonomy with ensuring accountability. They should foster a partnership dynamic, provide clarity on roles and expectations, and support team dynamics [1].

  8. Personal Fulfillment: The CEO should also consider personal fulfillment in their role, engaging in tasks that are rewarding and contribute to their sense of purpose [10].

  9. Handling Scrutiny and Feedback: CEOs face more scrutiny and receive less direct feedback than other leaders. They must manage the spotlight, encourage a feedback-rich culture, and find ways to obtain candid feedback for their development [6].

  10. Empathy and Support: CEOs often experience a lack of empathy from others due to their position. They need to cultivate a network of relationships that can provide support and serve as a coaching team [9].

In summary, the CEO's job is to lead the company through various stages of growth, make strategic decisions, manage their attention and time effectively, hold the leadership team accountable, represent the company publicly, oversee hiring practices, and ensure personal and organizational alignment with the company's mission and values.