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Exploring the 7 Duties of a Startup CEO in 2024

Exploring the 7 Duties of a Startup CEO in 2024

Dr Thommie Burger is the Founder of JTB Consulting
Startup CEO ― Exploring the Critical Duties of the CEO in 2023

Tune in to any business channel or podcast, whether online or on TV, and chances are you’ll see an interview with a CEO. If I mention the word CEO, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For some people, a superhero with incredible creativity and panache (think Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs). For others, a villain who does very little plays golf every other day and gets paid a lot.

Exploring the 7 Duties of a Startup CEO in 2024. JTB Consulting
Contact JTB Consulting for this and other advice, or view our News and Blog Page for free insights.

The Duties of a Startup CEO Explored.

The latter was mainly the case in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis ― when front-page news included regular negative interviews, stories and consumer sentiments of high-paid (banking) CEOs and their involvement in the loss of billions by the market and the man on the street.

In a company where individuals are recruited for certain roles and work in specific divisions, the Startup Chief Executive Officer is at the public forefront and is targeted when something goes wrong. The individual must juggle many balls, including strategy, leadership, innovation, and employee performance.

Strategy is not a Solo Sport Even if You’re the Chief Executive.

― Max McKeown 

A CEO’s role varies from company to company depending on the company’s size and overall structure. In relatively small companies, the Chief Executive often has a much more hands-on role, making most business decisions, including lower-level ones. However, in larger organisations, the Chief Executive typically deals with only the higher-level company strategy and directs its overall growth, with most other tasks delegated to other managers or departments.

So, what are the primary duties of a Chief Executive (The CEO Job Description)?

CEO Duties #1 ― Visionary Thinker:

CEOs set the tone and the vision for their organisation. Core to their existence effectively communicates their vision (and dreams) for the company, even if it may seem farfetched and unattainable. Some CEOs rise to public fame and severe scrutiny.

Steve Jobs, founder and former CEO of Apple, was a flamboyant Executive notorious for his role in the company, which resulted in numerous films and documentaries about him. Like Elon Musk, other CEOs regularly make headlines for their communication behaviour on Twitter.

Crafting, conveying, and implementing the organisation’s vision, mission, and direction while leading the development and implementation of the overall organisation’s strategy is arguably one of the most important duties of a Chief Executive.

Read more on this topic in our article Starting a Business in 2023? Here are 15 Ways to Find New Business Ideas.

CEO Duties #2 ― Strategic Leader:

Directing, coaching, and mentoring the executive team while leading these senior leaders to sound performance and excellence is at the heart of a CEO’s role. The Chief Executive must ensure that he provides strategic direction that filters down through the organisation to ensure its achievement. A critical component in the CEO’s arsenal is leading by example and from the front.

It is necessary to make the organisation’s mission a success. Creating a learning organisation that will continue to grow and flourish and enhancing the skills and abilities of employees are integral parts of a CEO’s role.

CEO Duties #3 ― Operational Captain:

Another essential duty of a chief executive is overseeing an organisation’s complete and successful operation with strategic plans that map the course of action. It is vital to design the organisation to facilitate and support the operations while evaluating whether it successfully reaches its goals.

CEO Duties #4 ― Resource Magician:

The Chief Executive is the individual who must perform the task of balancing resources. Adequate resource availability and effective utilisation ― the two most important being capital and people ― are vital to ensure a successful organisation. Most executives and managers have experience in dealing with budgets and allocating resources.

However, the CEO is responsible for properly balancing resources and allocating them to divisions and initiatives that will meet the company’s objectives. Making such vital decisions requires an in-depth understanding of business, industry, markets, and stakeholders. One of the most important duties a chief executive will fulfil is recruiting the right people and appointing them to the right positions with the proper training.

CEO Duties #5 ― Cultural Guru:

A company’s culture is the set of shared goals, behaviours, and beliefs that define a group. It culminates in how things are done at a company and influences the employee experiences and, eventually, the customer experiences.

Every organised group develops a culture ― whether explicitly recognised or not ―  and the Chief Executive must regularly observe and be involved in achieving the desired organisational culture. The most critical part of a company’s culture is its values. The Chief Executive must ensure these values flow throughout the organisation and are consistently applied from top to bottom across all divisions.

Exploring the 7 Duties of a Startup CEO in 2024. JTB Consulting
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CEO Duties #6 ― Father Time:

Efficiently managing one’s time between professional and personal responsibilities is an integral concern for all CEOs. Harvard professors Michael Porter and Nitin Nohria launched a 12-year study in 2006, intending to track how 27 CEOs of multi-billion dollar companies spent their days. It revealed the following:

  • On average, CEOs worked 9.7 hours per weekday.
  • They worked 79% of weekend days at an average of 3.9 hours daily.
  • Working comprised 31% of their time, while 25% was devoted to personal time.
  • Furthermore, 29% was spent sleeping, 10% commuting, and 5% on vacation.

CEO Duties #7 ― Mirror, Mirror on the Wall. I’m the Face of it All:

Experiencing feelings of dread, anxiety, apathy, lack of enthusiasm, and boredom? These are the experiences many have when networking or attending a networking event. However, this is a vital component of a CEO’s duties. A CEO’s network is quite expansive these days, especially with the advent of social media and online networking sites. However, with quantity comes a risk to quality. There are networks, and then there are trusted networks.

Merely “linking” with somebody on LinkedIn doesn’t define a network ―  or at least not one you can reliably lean on over time. Regardless of its reputation, networking is essential for CEOs.

Although we might avoid the word “network,” our networks present opportunities, and we grow and become more successful. A Chief Executive, through networking, represents the organisation for civic and professional association responsibilities and activities at the local community and national levels. Participating in industry-related events or associations that will enhance the CEO’s leadership skills, the organization’s reputation, and the organisation’s potential for success is important.

While it’s important for relationships to be reciprocal and uplifting to both parties, successful CEOs adopt a servant leadership perspective where appropriate. Lifting other people into one’s network through leveraging what you know shows a form of generosity ― doing something for someone else without expecting anything in return. It may be at direct odds with our conventional networking concept, but in today’s day and age, when social media is reducing human interaction and diluting the value of real connections, amazing returns ― although they may only come to fruition way down the road ― can be expected.

Established in 2006, we have successfully written hundreds of bankable and world-class Business Plans for clients across 25 countries. As South Africa’s Leading Business Plan Company, we are confident that we would be able to assist you too. Kindly note that we also offer “Investor Pitch Decks”, “Excel-based Financial Models”, and “Proposal/Tender Writing Services” in addition to our Custom Business Plan Writing Service. Please visit our Services page for more information.

We look forward to being of service to you. Please feel free to contact our Founder, Dr Thommie Burger, on +27 79 300 8984 should you have any questions. He is also available via email and LinkedIn.

JTB – Your Business Planning Partner.

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