What Does CEO Stand For
The title of CEO, or Chief Executive Officer, signifies the highest rank in the corporate chain. The Chief Executive Officer has overall responsibility for the major aspects of corporate decision making and leadership, as well as being the focal point on a board of directors. In some cases the Chief Executive Officer may also act as the company chair.
The term ‘Chief’ is used to describe the highest rank amongst a group of people. When someone mentions Chief we commonly associate it to organisations like the police.
In the boardroom the term Chief describes the highest rank in the department or organisation. Executive is a term traditionally used to describe a senior manager within an organisation. Executive Management for instance may describe ‘Heads of’ departments or the board of directors. Officer is typically used to describe any person with responsibility within an organisation.
The combination of all three describes a role which encompasses leadership and responsibility for all officers and executives.
CEO Position, Importance, Pitfalls and Challenges
CEO's are typically individuals of significant corporate experience with long and successful careers. As the pinnacle role of a commercial career, wannabe CEO's require a highly diverse range of skills with the ability to understand varied business challenges.
The CEO will be required to pragmatically lead a workforce through good and bad times. To this end CEO's will need to understand people, be able to maintain control in often emotionally led challenges but perhaps most important, be able to build a team they can trust to deliver business performance. CEO's can of course be responsible for small teams in an SME environment or responsible for thousands of employees across a global network.
As a leader the CEO requires vision to understand where the company should be and how to lead it there. This vision needs to take into account a wealth of stakeholders including customers, employees, shareholders and local communities.
The role of CEO does have its pitfalls. As the CEO you are responsible for an entire workforce and organisation. This will most likely lead to working long hours and difficulties associated with a work life balance. Furthermore, when something goes wrong in the company the CEO will be where the buck stops. These challenges can mean that on a day to day level the role can be very lonely.
However for many the chance to lead and motivate an organisation of people, influence the culture, grow a business and deliver shareholder returns, not to mention the handsome remuneration packages which often come with the CEO role, can be too much to turn down.