What is the primary function of the CEO?
A friend once quipped, “Successful management is dead. Failure is complicated.” These words are true. As is this, the responsibility for success or failure ultimately falls upon the shoulders of the CEO. With the addition of Sarbanes-Oxley and ever-tightening rules and regulations from the SEC, the responsibility can be daunting to the inexperienced leader. The position’s responsibilities are seemingly unlimited, its demands without boundaries. The job is, in a sense, an infinite one.
Successful leadership is about vision, focus, purpose, value and more. The leadership of the company ceases when the leader fails to add value to the team.
One can only lead when he/she has a clear vision of the desired outcome and works steadily toward its attainment. This must not be construed as one big goal that once reached, signals the end of the progress. Instead, the leader must have a continuing view that provides the strategy and direction to facilitate the accomplishment of objectives. The prime directive is to lead the organization to profits to secure the position of the stakeholders including the investors, customers and/or clients, employees and their families.
Rewarding the stakeholders, creating profit, is the ultimate function and goal of the CEO. Nothing else matters. That comes from CEOs over time.