The role of a chief executive officer is most affected when the company in question is a corporation with a board of directors. In this case, the chief executive officer must report directly to the board of directors, and it is his or her responsibility alone to execute all the plans and policies that are set forth by the board. In contrast, in a company or small business without a board, the chief executive officer is the person who actually sets the plans and policies and oversees all operations.
As stated, the role of a chief executive is both immense and complex. Again, though, the type of company and size of the company will define the job to a large degree. Typically, the role of the chief executive officer includes the following:
- Board Administration and Support — unifies the board and staff to make sure that all guidelines and objectives are communicated clearly
- Financial and Facilities Management — recommends yearly budget and manages organization's resources
- Plans Mission Statement — implements all strategies established by the board to meet objectives
- Company Culture — sets tone and implements team building, including hiring and firing of employees
- Community and Public Relations — oversees the organization's products and services to ensure that they are presented in a positive image to stakeholders
- Service and Product Delivery — oversees all implementation of services, including design, promotion, quality control, marketing, etc.
- Human Resources Management — manages HR in the organization to ensure that all personnel policies/procedures conform to current laws
- Fundraising (for nonprofit organizations only) — oversees all planning and implementation for fundraising purposes, including needs research, funding sources, strategies, proposals, records, and documentation
Luckily, there is quite a selection of courses available on becoming a new chief executive officer. Obviously, many colleges offer specific programs and courses geared toward this career; however, business schools are the places that most high-level CEOs for major corporations got their training. These programs offer students a solid foundation that will be required in all executive leadership roles. Students are taught the influence that power and politics have in an organization. Such courses or programs also stress the importance of a sound organizational vision and a clear business focus. The better the schooling you have, the better prepared you are, and therefore a good education will give you an edge in the job market.
Once you do get hired, being a new chief executive officer anywhere will be challenging work, to say the least. Replacing a former CEO comes with a host of challenges. If your predecessor was a great leader, those are some pretty big shoes to fill. If, on the other hand, if he or she was incompetent, you'll likely inherit many problems.
Steve Ballmer is Microsoft's chief executive officer. Microsoft is the world's leading manufacturer of personal and business software. Ballmer joined Bill Gates, owner and founder of Microsoft, when Gates hired Ballmer in 1980 as his first business manager. Since that time, Ballmer's leadership has become legendary. Ballmer, like any superior CEO, has a vision for the corporation: ''We literally will get the tools to help us better understand and address global issues that affect billions of people, including education, healthcare, science, and environmental change.'' Ballmer's own education is extensive. He graduated from Harvard University with a BA in mathematics and economics, and attended the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He also worked at Procter & Gamble Co. as an assistant product manager for two years.
If you're a leader, a hard worker, and not afraid of responsibility, a career as a CEO may be the challenge you're looking for. You have a world of options in terms of the kind of company you want to work for as well. You may opt to work in manufacturing, retail, a service industry, technology, or even healthcare. In our society, healthcare is growing by leaps and bounds. There are new healthcare facilities springing up and old ones expanding constantly. As such, you may well find job opportunities in any number of medical facilities, including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and research centers.