Friday, August 29, 2014

President vs. CEO: Choose Your Title Correctly

by Geraud Staton

I haven't reviewed your company. I don't know how many employees you have. I don't know what you do with yourself all day. But I can tell you this: odds are good that you do NOT need to be called the "CEO."

What Does the CEO Do?
The CEO is responsible for quite a bit within your company. And no matter if you have a 1000-person company or a 3-person company, these tasks need to be done if you want to continue being a company in the next few years. In essence, your job is to see into the future.

1. Look at the Physical
You are operating your business in a warehouse, a storefront, or out of your bedroom. How long will that suffice? Where should you be if your company is to grow? What facility do you need next year? The year after? Five years from now? It's your job to answer those questions and to ensure that your company is ready when the time comes.

2. Look to your People
Your customers are why you get up every morning. You are helping hundreds or thousands of people. You want to help millions of people. Will your customer be the same 5 years from now as they are right now? What changes? What do you need to change in order to reach them?

But your customers aren't the only people you care about. What about your employees? How many of them will you need in order to keep helping your customers? What skills will they need to have? When do you need them? It's your job to be ready for them.

3. Look at your Technology
One day your laptop will become obsolete. So will your phone. So will the tool you're using for your company. The question is: did you see it coming? And if you did, did you prepare for it? It's your job to see it coming.

4. Look at your Money
You need to know where you're going to be, who you're going to hire, who you're going to serve, and what technology you need in order to continue your mission. All of that is going to cost your company money. And it's your job to know how you're going to get that money. Will you borrow it, or find investors? Will you earn it through your current operations or will you look at other revenue sources?

As CEO, you live in the future. But, let me repeat this because it it important. You SHOULD be doing these tasks regardless of how large or small your company is. But, as CEO, this is the bulk of your job. You have the time and income to do so. That means that someone else is doing the every day work that keeps your company running while you get to live in the future.

Some people's favorite president. Check him out at Soul Pancake

What Does the President Do?
To put it simply, your President's job is to lead your company and its employees toward the company goals. The President is the commander of the troops, and the cheerleader, and the dispatcher. The President of your company needs to keep his or her finger on the pulse of the entire company, and if that person were to leave it is possible that everything would grind to a halt!

If you are the one ensuring your company's daily survival, you are more likely to be President than CEO. You are living in the here and now. You know what is happening in every department and with every employee. Again, you SHOULD be taking some time, at least quarterly, to do the job of the CEO, but maybe you aren't at a place where you can do this every day, or even every week.

And that's ok.

By working your business, growing respectfully, and being certain to take time out to put on the CEO hat, you will eventually get to a point where you actually need someone to handle CEO duties regularly. That's the goal. Once that happens, feel free to promote yourself. Or, hire someone from the outside to be your company's CEO.

The important thing to remember is that you are doing what's important for your company and for you customers. 

No comments:

Post a Comment