I am asked all the time if there is a simple CEO success formula that every leader should follow. I believe there is and unfortunately few leaders have the discipline and commitment to consistently stick to it.
The first thing you must clearly understand and mange to is your CEO role. Far too many leaders spend too much energy on the wrong things and/or roles that someone else should be doing. In my years of experience, the following roles are solely suited for the CEO and are the areas where he/she can make the greatest impact.
Here are the six core CEO Roles:
- Chief Strategist – providing clear strategic direction for the company
- Chief Team Builder – placing the right key people in the right spots and having them interact in the right way
- Chief Sales Officer – ensuring the organization has a consistent and scalable sales system/process and helping as needed to close BIG deals
- Chief Accountability Officer – ensuring there are systems and processes in place to hold departments and people accountable to performance expectations
- Chief Culture Officer – institutionalizing the core values throughout the company and serving as their role model
- Chief Coach/Mentor – doing a great job coaching and mentoring your direct reports and expecting the same of them
Of course, there are other key leadership roles in and organization, e.g., COO, CFO, CTO, CPO, etc. However, my contention is that these are usually best performed by someone else with that specific expertise. Smaller organization typically outsource/rent these other functions from established 3rd party subject matter experts until they can fully fund the position in-house.
Business GPA – the Outcomes Every Business Needs to Focus On
I don’t care which industry or market you focus on; every business needs to achieve standard business outcomes to attain and sustain success. Just like students who have a Grade Point Average (GPA) that represents their academic prowess, leaders must consistently perform against the following categories:
- Growing Revenue from New Customers
- Maximizing Revenue from Existing Customers
- Managing Operations Effectively to Maximize the Financial Bottom Line
- Creating a Work Environment That Attracts and Retains Talent
- Consistently Meeting or Exceeding Customer Expectations
- Creating A Culture of Innovation and Continuous Improvement Throughout the Company
CEO Roles x Business GPA = Leadership Success
Business success really is this simple. Unfortunately, many leaders complicate it.