What’s the most difficult job in the world? Raise that question the next time you gather socially with friends. Bet you get a lot of discussion.
The job of CEO should be at least a finalist in the discussion. Any CEO job, large or small, presents the challenge of bringing many things together. I’ve been reminded of this recently in my readings of The CEO Code by David Rohlander and The Alignment Factor by Allen E. Fishman. Rohlander attempts to encompass the responsibilities of the CEO by organizing them into three broad categories: communication, execution, and operations. Fishman’s categories are commitment, communication, culture, and collaboration.
If you are the owner and CEO of a small to midsize business, you have an appreciation of the breadth of skills required to build and sustain a successful enterprise. More likely than not, you understand the magnetic pull of the daily urgent demands that would keep you from maintaining the long view – from developing your key employees – from identifying future opportunities and threats. Each author takes a slightly different approach to defining the job and inviting action on the part of the reader. Rohlander has provided what might be considered an abbreviated handbook on the role of CEO. Fishman has focused on the strategies and actions that provide alignment of people throughout the organization. Both works deserve your attention.