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CEOs, don't forget your main duties

Ted Blackwater |
In an ever-changing world of business CEO role is changing to respond to demands of increasing competition. But during that process the main responsibilities can easily be forgotten. Here is what is most important.

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First, a CEO must have the vision. Not "a vision," the vision. A CEO should determine the company's strategic direction. Without a clear goal in sight, the company is a collection individuals chasing their own goals, no the team working together toward a common goal.

The CEO must be able to describe it in a clear way for all employees and stakeholders. Too many times CEOs slip into slogans that sound great but have no practical meaning.

As a rule of thumb, if you can write your vision on a piece of paper for all your employees to understand it you are on a good path.

The CEO must balance between capital and people. Those are the most important resources and they must be available in exact right quantity for a company to function smoothly.

The point is not to employ thousands and allocate billions, the point is use resources on hand in a smart way, allocating proper quantities to different teams in the company.

The CEO must build a company culture according to the goals. In other words, depending on the industry the company is in, the boss must establish behaviors and values that characterize the company.

Crazy and creative is welcome in a tech company but maybe not to much in a bank. Every organized group of individuals develops a culture and the CEO must constantly observe and be involved to achieve the desired outome.

The CEO must oversee company's performance. Everyone would agree that the CEO is responsible for a company's performance because that's the main description on the job.

To be successful, she must follow the inudstry closely while at the same time being in touch with the core business functions in her own company.

And finally, the company's CEO must make good decisions. And this is hard.

The scope of the job is very broad, from strategy to manufacturing to people, and that requires experience and a good team around the boss. Some solution require a cooperation between different teams or department and CEO's duty is to coordinate and make the executive decision.

So, in the world overwhelmed by distraction, from social media issues to sharholders' wishes to customer complaints, it is easy to forget the main points a top manager should have in mind. And when that happens the company is going toward a very uncertain future.

And a bonus tip: What to do when your company spreads in another country?

Different cultures bring different cultural challenges but, suprisingly for some, they are way smaller than western executives tend to think.

Aside from laws, taxes and regulations that are specific for every country on this planet, there are two basic differences between culture: communication and pace of work. And they both are easy to overcome.

The way people communicate, well, that's a thing you will have to adapt too.

We are talking about phrases and expresions specific for a perticular culture. "Hey, John, what's up?" is maybe OK in the U.S., but in Germany, for example, you will say "Dr. Schroeder," but those are differences easy to learn.

The pace of work is another story. To make your company equally good in another country you'll have to introduce your standards and culture.

If people in another country work slow, you'll have to teach them to work faster. If they have three-hour lunch break, you have to cut that to one hour. If they enjoy endless meetings, you'll have to organize 15 minutes long, short and effective meeting.

If you take a look at any successfull multinational company, you will see that they all changed the way employees in other culture work and that's the way to success: stick to things that work home and bring them abroad. That way, among other things, you will enrich people in another culture.

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