Friday Five December 16 2016

In today’s Friday Five, I cite some interesting sources as to what a CEO does and does not do.

First, what does a CEO really do? It can be boiled down to three things:

  1. Sets overall vision and strategy for the organization
  2. Recruits and hires the very best talent for the organization
  3. Makes sure there is enough cash in the bank at all times

I would argue that CEOs do more than this, but I do like the simplicity and focus of having three things to do.

Secondly, Forbes has published the difference between the activities of a business owner vs. a CEO. Note how CEOs work “on” the business rather than “in” it. Note also that most small businesses will not scale as far as they can without first having an ownership group that knows how to be in the CEO camp instead of the Owner camp.

Thirdly, In HBR’s article, Seven Surprises for New CEOs, we learn, among other things, that:

  1. Your really not running the company
  2. Giving orders is very costly
  3. It’s hard to know what’s really going on in your company

CEOs have a unique role in an organization whose success can’t be defined by spending time in the office. Being behind a desk should be the least of concerns for most CEOs.

Fourthly, this goes to show that you can’t buy an election. $1.2B is what the Clinton campaign spent on her losing effort. No matter how much she spent, I doubt she could have beat Mr. Trump because her message didn’t resonate with those angry white male voters. <sigh>

Lastly, The number “20” seems to be a hot number these days. Our national debt is closing in on $20T and the Dow Industrials are close to hitting 20,000. Which will occur first is irrelevant. The latter is good news – the former is not and the former outweighs the latter, IMHO, in terms of importance and long-term economic health for this country.