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successful entrepreneurs

CEO – Chief Executive Officer

“You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripple for change.” – Tim Cook (CEO of Apple)

In the above quote, Tim Cook mentions what the outlook of a CEO should be. A CEO (Chief Executive Officer) is someone who leads their organization by developing a vision and implementing it. Let us understand more about who a CEO is.

What is a chief executive officer (CEO)?

The full form of CEO is chief executive officer. A chief executive officer is a highest-ranking executive in a company or organization. CEOs are responsible for making strategic decisions, managing the overall operations and resources of the company, and acting as the main point of communication between the board of directors and the rest of the organization.

What do CEOs actually do?

The question of what a chief executive officer does can be better explained using a quote by Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft.

“A leader must see the external opportunities and the internal capability and culture—and all of the connections among them—and respond to them before they become obvious parts of the conventional wisdom.” – Satya Nadella (CEO of Microsoft)

A chief executive officer is someone who not only leads an organization but also tries to plan its growth and development. They play a crucial role in the progress of a company.

Roles and responsibilities of a chief executive officer

A chief executive officer plays the role of setting and achieving the company’s overall goals, and to fulfill this duty, they have to wear various hats. Other than these, they have several other responsibilities. Some of them are mentioned below:

  1. Make company-level decisions: Someone in this position must also be able to make difficult decisions, such as layoffs or restructuring, in order to keep the company on track to meet its goals.
  2. Create a healthy work environment: As the leading force of a company, the responsibility of ensuring that the employees are happy at their workplace and loyal to the company falls on the chief executive officer.
  3. Advice and incorporate changes in policies and strategy: One of the main responsibilities of a CEO is to set and achieve the company’s overall goals and objectives. This includes creating and implementing a strategic plan, setting financial targets, and making sure the company is operating efficiently and effectively.
  4. Optimize the return on investment (ROI) on resources: Another important aspect of a CEO’s role is managing the company’s resources, including its employees, finances, and physical assets. This includes developing and implementing policies and procedures, managing budgets and financial performance, and making sure that the company’s human resources are being used effectively.
  5. Convey effectively: In addition to internal management, a CEO must also be able to effectively communicate with the company’s stakeholders, including shareholders, customers, and the media. This includes presenting financial reports and updates, communicating the company’s vision and strategy, and handling public relations and crisis management.

“Talent is extremely important. It’s like a sports team; the team that has the best individual player will often win, but then there’s a multiplier from how those players work together and the strategy they employ.” – Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla)

Being a CEO is not an easy task; it requires a wide range of skills and qualities such as strong leadership, strategic thinking, financial acumen, and excellent communication skills. They also need to be able to think critically and make difficult decisions, often under pressure.

 

CEO salary

This position was not necessarily considered a separate position within a company. However, according to a study conducted by Epi.org, the pay for this position has increased by approximately 1,300% since the 1970s.

Someone in this position is essentially given a high salary. On average a CEO earns $809,775 per year, according to Salary.com. But in a larger organization, this remuneration can be as high as $1,043,357 per year, excluding bonuses and incentives.

Educational requirements of a CEO

This job typically requires a bachelor’s degree in a field such as business administration, management, or a related field. However, many CEOs have advanced degrees, such as an MBA. Additionally, significant experience in the industry in which the company operates is advantageous, as is having held leadership roles such as COO or President prior to becoming CEO. Some companies may also prefer candidates with a background in finance or accounting. Ultimately, the specific educational requirements can vary depending on the company and industry.

Mentioned below are some executive education programs that will support your goal of becoming a CEO or entrepreneur.

Berkeley Executive Program in Management (Berkeley EPM)

The Berkeley Executive in Management (Berkeley EPM) is a distinguished general management program that prepares you for the next level of leadership. Created to transform proven leaders into global executives ready to lead the charge, Berkeley EPM encourages reflection, enhances strategic thinking, and develops authentic leadership. It is designed to create a deeply relevant, immersive, and dynamic learning experience for senior executives, ready for the next level of the leadership challenge. It includes modules on advanced management competencies, leading innovative change, etc., which are a must for a person in C-level positions.

MIT Professional Education Technology Leadership Program (TLP)

This is a multi-modular program delivered by MIT faculty on campus and live virtually and geared towards the development needs of the next generation of technology CEOs, CTO’s, CIO’s and emerging leaders. The program is designed for technology leaders and experienced practitioners from large corporations as well as startups – innovation-oriented firms who are focusing on leveraging emerging digital technologies to remain relevant and competitive in the marketplace. After completion of TLP, you will be a part of a cohort of global leaders and practitioners. You will also become an integral part of the global MIT Professional Education network and will be considered alumni of TLP as well as MIT Professional Education.

MIT Professional Education | Technology Leadership Program

UCLA Post Graduate Program in Management for Executives (UCLA PGPX)

It is an extensive general management program offered by UCLA Anderson School of Management, one of the top global business schools. A part-time program with a modular format that provides great flexibility for busy professionals, while the UCLA faculty and industry leaders ensure that the program covers all aspects of best-in-class management education expected from a highly respected and globally renowned institution. This program will put you on the global leadership map, with a combination of strategies, skills, and acumen that will stretch your thinking, and hone your abilities as a leader and manager capable of achieving remarkable growth in your business. UCLA PGPX has been designed to expose the participants to management and business leadership essentials, in an extensive general management curriculum that is designed to be experiential in learning and applied in focus. UCLA Anderson has been offering executive education programs for several decades; and these programs conform to the highest standards of quality and are taught by some of the best faculty in the world. UCLA PGPX promises the same elite experience to participants joining the program from all parts of the world.

What are the related chief positions?

The CEO is not the only C-level position in an organization. You must have come across terms such as CFO (Chief Financial Officer), CMO (Chief Marketing Officer), COO (Chief Operating Officer), and COB (Chairman of the Board).

Let us understand the difference between some of these roles compared to the CEO’s role.

CEO vs COO

A chief operating officer (COO) is close to the CEO’s rank. They are considered the head of the HR department. Their responsibilities include employee recruitment, managing legalities, payroll, and employee training and benefits based on the company’s needs and resources.

Read: CEO vs COO vs CFO – Roles and Responsibilities

CEO vs. CFO

A CFO is the chief financial officer. A position that is considered to be at the top level in the finance department. Their responsibilities typically include overseeing the financial operations, developing and implementing financial strategies, managing the company’s financial resources, communicating the company’s financial performance, and coordinating with other departments and divisions to ensure that the company’s financial goals are aligned with its overall business strategy, among others.

Read: CEO vs COO vs CFO – Salaries

Summary

Being a CEO is a challenging but rewarding role that requires a strong combination of business acumen, leadership skills, and the ability to make difficult decisions. A good CEO will work tirelessly to set and achieve the company’s goals. A study by the Harvard Business Review shows that CEOs spend 72% of their time in meetings versus 28% alone. The leaders in our study worked 9.7 hours per weekday, on average. They also conducted business on 79% of weekend days, putting in an average of 3.9 hours daily, and on 70% of vacation days, averaging 2.4 hours daily. This demonstrates that a job like this necessitates arduous effort.

FAQs

Here are some characteristics considered ideal for the position of chief executive officer: approachable, transparent, and open-minded.

A company’s owners will choose the company’s CEO. In many corporations, the board of directors will appoint a CEO, but all shareholders get a say in who sits on the board.

Padmavati

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