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Friday, June 16, 2006

Six Essential Roles of the CEO

Vistage speaker Lawrence King offers his take on the six essential roles of the CEO:

  1. Co-Strategist. First and foremost, key executives must contribute to the development of strategy. They must use the knowledge and information they gain from their critical vantage points to help set the future direction of the company.
  2. Team leader. Like the CEO, key executives must make the difficult transition from functional expert to leader. “They may go kicking and screaming,” notes King, “but you must drag them out of their familiar, comfortable, functional roles and into this new, ambiguous and demanding role of team leader.”
  3. Content expert. In their specific areas of knowledge or expertise, key executives need to bring global best practices to bear on the current, everyday practices of the company.
  4. Champion of change. Key executives need to beat the drum, wave the flag and point their people in the right direction, while constantly reinforcing the vision of why the company must go forward.
  5. Role model. Key executives must march shoulder-to-shoulder with the CEO, actually living the values that are spoken for the company.
  6. Student. As with the CEO, key executives must engage in continued professional development, but as students of leadership, not of the technical/functional turf they manage within the organization.

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