5 Central Responsibilities Of Every CEO

5 Central Responsibilities Of Every CEO


What are the responsibilities of a CEO?

This is something everyone at a company should know. After all, understanding what is required of a CEO helps him or her set the stage for the success of the enterprise.

It also helps employees better understand what the CEO is trying to accomplish, how they can be of support and what they should aspire to accomplish.

Here are five key responsibilities of the CEO:

Related: When Should a CEO Get Involved in Day-to-Day Details?

1Own the vision

A CEO should determine and communicate the organisation’s strategic direction. Until that’s settled, making decisions about anything at the business is difficult. And without this, the company is merely a collection of people pursuing individual goals, guided by their own values.

While other people may help shape the strategic vision, the CEO must be able to describe it in a clear and engaging way for all stakeholders. All the players in the organisation should understand how this direction affects their job and daily responsibilities.

2Provide the proper resources

Only the CEO can balance resources – the two most important ones being capital and people. The CEO must make both available in the proper quantities and at the right time for the company to succeed.

All executives have experience dealing with budgets and allocating resources. But the CEO’s job involves keeping a proper balance of resources for all the disparate groups and initiatives, according to the company’s goals. Skill in making such decisions requires a deep understanding of all aspects of the business.

Putting the right people in the right positions with the right training is probably the single most important thing a CEO can do. With the right team, all things are possible. With the wrong team, nothing else matters.

Related: 5 Steps to Move from Founder to High-Growth CEO

3Build the culture


Culture is the set of shared attitudes, goals, behaviours and values that characterise a group. It adds up to how things get done and influences the entire employee and customer experience.

The CEO must constantly observe and be involved to achieve the desired culture. The most critical part of culture is values: The CEO ensures that those values are applied consistently from top to bottom, across all departments. A good culture makes people feel safe and respected, enabling them to perform at their best.

4Make good decisions

New CEOs are often surprised by the breadth of issues confronting them. It’s impossible for anyone to be an expert in all aspects of a business, yet the CEO is the person tasked with making the decisions.

Many problems require a solution that will end up affecting multiple departments, and only the CEO is empowered to take such an action.

Everyone else can pass the buck from time to time, but the CEO will make the final call.

5Oversee and deliver the company’s performance

The CEO is ultimately responsible for a company’s performance. To be successful, they must take an active role in driving that performance. This requires maintaining a keen awareness of the firm’s industry and market, and being in touch with the core business functions to ensure the proper execution of tasks.

The CEO also serves as the interface between internal operations and external stakeholders. They need to ascertain how different stakeholders expect the company to perform, interpret this for internal teams and then be sure the proper metrics accurately gauge performance. The CEO sets the bar for the level of performance to be reached.

Successful CEOs plan how they spend their time, according to these responsibilities. To successfully grow a company, the CEO should have a clear picture of how to fulfil these functions that only they can do, prioritise them and find balance when dealing with the onslaught of issues.

Related: 10 Things Real Leaders Do

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Joe Trammell
Joel Trammell is CEO of Khorus, which provides business management software for executives. He is chair emeritus of the Austin Technology Council and managing partner of private equity firm Lone Rock Technology Group. His leadership as a CEO has resulted in successful nine-figure acquisitions by two Fortune 500 companies. Trammell is also the author of the forthcoming book The CEO Tightrope.