When researching the topic as to what a CEO does, there is a large number of opinions as to the CEO’s function. The definition that I subscribe to is that the job of a CEO to provide vision, guidance and inspiration. The work of a CEO is very creative, almost as an artist – a person that is able to evaluate and synthesize a vision and direction against a blank canvas. Sure, E in the CEO stands for Executive, which implies action – but I think in so many ways that is a misnomer. For, most of the CEO’s that I studied, their value was not in the execution (although obviously this in monumentally important) BUT in their creative vision and ideas.
Another words, to execute, one can hire strong Project Managers and Operations VPs – BUT to invent the future, to draw a line on a blank slate of the future – and invent something – then decide to go there – that to me, is the essence of a CEO.
Some of the brilliant CEOs of our times, are Jeff Bezos of Amazon – who saw the future and painted the picture. Steve Jobs, who saw a different kind of computing future, and of course, Howard Schultz who fought tooth and nail to go a place where no one had gone before.