The meaning of the CEO | Who are they and what do they do? (2023)

The meaning of the CEO | Who are they and what do they do? (2023)

Claudia Roca

Nov 16, 2022

Nov 16, 2022

Nov 16, 2022

The meaning of the CEO | Who are they and what do they do? (2023)
The meaning of the CEO | Who are they and what do they do? (2023)
The meaning of the CEO | Who are they and what do they do? (2023)

Tell us something: how many times have you flipped through Fortune magazine and been delighted by the biographies of some of the most powerful men in the world? They all have one thing in common and that is that they tend to be the CEOs of the most successful companies and brands. 

What excites us is that we imagine you reaching these levels! 

CEOs are people to look up to and the truth is that you have everything it takes to be a CEO. 

You might be surprised to know that most of them have come a long way to achieve these recognitions. You just need patience, discipline, study and humility to get there.

Would you like to know exactly what they do on a daily basis? Well, you've come to the right place. 

Sit back and find out below. 

What is the CEO of a company?

First of all, it's important to define the meaning of the CEO in a company. 

It's the person with the highest administrative authority in a company. He/she is in charge of all the company's activities and is responsible for ensuring that all operations go according to plan. 

Therefore, he is in charge of the following details:

  • Sales strategy.

  • Analysis of marketing campaigns.

  • Planning of medium and long term objectives.

  • Projection of goals.

  • Study of possible markets.

  • Supervision of work departments.

In other words, we could say that the CEO indicates the guidelines to be followed by the organisation and verifies that they are fulfilled in the estimated time. That is why there's no specific profile, as each company adapts the position to its needs. 

 What does a CEO do?

There are many responsibilities that a CEO has on a day-to-day basis. That is why we prefer to make a list so that you can understand them better. Pay close attention to it:

1. Ensuring that the mission and vision of the organisation are fulfilled

How many times have we heard about the mission and vision of the company when we talk about the business world? Sometimes it can be tedious, but if people talk about it so much it's for a reason.

The truth is that without mission and vision there's no paradise, it's the north and the raison d'être of an organisation, so it's what you will hold on to when things get rough.

You as CEO must make sure that every member of the team knows where they are going. This will make things much simpler. 

2. Planning strategies

It's true that as a leader you won't be working directly in many areas, but strategy and planning will pass through your hands. From sales tactics, marketing campaigns, digitalisation of the brand and new product ideas.

That's why we say that a CEO needs to be knowledgeable in many areas and then surround themselves with the best people to make the decisions that are relevant to the project. 

3. Managing the team

A CEO is first and foremost a team manager, so you will have to manage everything in the organisation. 

You will have from 1 to thousands of people in your charge depending on the size of the company. Therefore, it's important that you listen to each member and know how to bring out the best in everyone. 

The hierarchical structure will determine how many departments there will be, but you still need to be in constant contact with the team to monitor the progress of all the projects that are currently pending.

4. Making decisions to improve metrics

Now, it's true that a CEO doesn't sell directly to the customer, but this does not mean that he or she is detached from the commercial strategy of the organisation. 

In most cases what he or she does is study the metrics to make decisions that help improve the numbers. From return on investment, conversion rate optimisation, customer loyalty and market penetration.

4 Skills to be a successful CEO

Would you like to become a successful CEO? The meaning of this position is not just money, but prestige and recognition in the media and public opinion. 

The good news is that you can get there with discipline and focus, you just need to learn a number of skills to increase your employability.

Let's look at some of these skills below:

1. Honesty

You can't be a top CEO if you're not honest. You know there's a phrase that says "lies have short legs", and we believe it's true.

Being honest is not the same as being rude, so ideally you should always tell the truth as politely as you can to keep your doors open.

Tell the truth to everyone, to your customers, partners, employees and suppliers. You will see how you will gain their trust in no time and everything will run smoothly. 

2. Recognising the work of the team

Recognition is something that all human beings crave. Who doesn't like to be congratulated for their performance? Sometimes we can't find the words to express what it feels like.

As a CEO you need to bring out the best in every member of your team, and one way to do that is through recognition. 

Don't hesitate to congratulate someone for the report they did or for the excellent performance they did on the last project. You will see how this generates powerful feedback that will be transformed into results. 

3. Leadership

Leadership is a quality that you can develop over time. It's a soft skill that is rarely taught in universities, but is important in the business world. 

Focus on influencing others, being consistent in what you say and always send a message of support and inspiration to others. We believe that the most important thing about a leader is to be someone of integrity who sets an example at all times. 

"Everything falls or collapses because of leadership", Jhon Maxwell once said, which proves that if you want to raise the bar in your organisation, you will have to be a better leader. 

4. Being decisive

A CEO must always be decisive, you cannot hesitate, and if you do you must stand firm in front of others. 

We know you are human and vulnerable, but ideally you should be firm and confident in front of your team. This will give a sense of security and assurance to others, so they know they are in safe hands. 

CEO Skills

5 Examples of successful CEOs

It's clear that a CEO is an important person with a lot of responsibilities. Now, there's nothing better than to see some examples of business leaders who are doing a great job in the real world.

Would you like to see them? Don't leave your computer:

1. Jeff Bezos

Who hasn't heard this name? The founder and CEO of Amazon became the richest man in the world in 2017, something that surprised everyone. 

Bezos is an example of the tenacity and discipline needed to get to the top. Few remember how Amazon began, as a small online bookstore, but now it's the leader in e-commerce worldwide. 

With Jeff, Amazon not only dominates the market, but is also part of other industries such as logistics, delivery, streaming services and other innovations that are on the way. 

2. Mary Barra

We know that the gender gap is one of the barriers that most want to eradicate these days, but unfortunately we still find such problems in many companies.

That's why we rejoice when we see women like of Mary Barra. She is the CEO of General Motors, one of the most important organisations in the United States and the world. 

Not long ago, a US president said: "As GM goes, so goes the country", so imagine the size of this company and the quality of Mary's level.

The professional has been with the company since the age of 18 and has worked her way up the hierarchical ladder until she reached the position of executive management in 2014.

A native of Michigan, she has always been involved in the automotive world and graduated from the General Motors Institute in 1985 with a degree in electrical engineering. The rest is history. 

Under her name, they've transformed the project into a conglomerate called Alphabet that will be very difficult to dethrone.

3. Thim Cook

Thim Cook is the leader of the company with the largest market capitalisation, Apple. The Apple brand trusted Thim to replace none other than Steve Jobs, and it worked out well.

With Cook, they are not only leaders in mobile phones, an industry that is becoming increasingly competitive, but also in other engines such as streaming, which has led them to earn more and more money. 

This entrepreneur is an industrial engineer from Auburn University and has a master's degree in business administration, which shows the importance of study for success.

4. Indra Nooyi

According to Forbes magazine, Indra is one of the 100 most influential women in the world. From 2006 to 2018, she was CEO of PepsiCo. Wall Street called her the Iron Lady for her incredible influence in the business world. 

Thanks to her work, the company recorded a very high profit margin for ten months without interruption. In the last years of Indra's executive management, the company achieved a turnover of more than 66 billion dollars. 

Indra was born in India and soon after, her parents decided to migrate to the United States, where she became a graduate in physics and chemistry. 

For Nooyi, it has always been essential to see what others do not see. So being a visionary is a skill that could take anyone to top executive levels. 

5. Sundar Pichai

Never heard of him? Well, we're talking about the CEO of Google, the tech giant that helps you find the information you need every day. 

It's worth mentioning that Sundar has been with the organisation for a long time, which has helped him to know perfectly well what the company needs in order to grow.

Under his name, they transformed the project into a conglomerate called Alphabet that will be very difficult to dethrone.


Steps to becoming a CEO

It's very likely that after reading all this you want to become a successful CEO. We understand, but the first thing you should know is that this is a path that rewards consistency, not speed.

Almost none of the CEOs of the world's largest companies got that position overnight. The reality is that they had to go through many ups and downs and you have to prepare yourself to overcome them.

Let's take a look at some of the steps you need to take to become a successful CEO.

1. Educate yourself

Something that most CEOs have in common is that they went to college. There are very few CEOs who do not have at least an undergraduate degree. Why would you be the exception?

Go to college and study what you like, no matter what it is. We've seen managers, engineers and lawyers become CEOs, so don't be afraid. 

2. Specialise

OK, this is optional, but we think it will really help you stand out from the crowd. 

Nowadays there are masters that really help you get those skills you need to overcome the challenges you'll face as a CEO. Leadership, marketing, sales and everything you need to be cost-effective in the marketplace. 

We take this opportunity to remind you that in our school we have some of the best Masters in the world and 100% virtual. Log on to the web and delight yourself. 

3. Gain experience

Come on, it's not just about focusing on studying, these days you need to combine study with work to increase your chances of selling. 

So, look for a part-time job that will help you gain experience and you will see how you will become a better professional.

Is being the CEO the same as being the owner of a company?

One of the most common questions people have is whether a business owner and a CEO are the same thing. The answer is NO, they are different positions.

It's true that in the market you will find people who hold the position of CEO and are major owners of the company, as Jeff Bezos is at Amazon.

However, Thim Cook is not the founder or majority shareholder and yet he is the CEO of Apple.  

The same goes for Sundar Pichai, so you don't need to be the founder of the project to run a company.

What happens is that many founders decide to step aside once the company is stable and has quite interesting growth projections. 

Therefore, if you are not a founder, we recommend that you prepare yourself as much as possible to increase your chances of employment.

Final recommendations regarding the CEO

We love to talk to you about a position that is becoming more and more accepted in the business world. The right job description is as important as choosing the right product, and it all starts with choosing the CEO.

We are sure that you have all the skills to make this position your own, so it's time to start working towards your dream job. 

Start by defining your tastes and go to school to train as a professional. With a little time and further study, you can work your way up the ladder to the top.

Don't forget the soft skills. Nowadays the competition is too high and if you don't differentiate yourself in some way it will be difficult for you. 

Take this into account and don't think about it any longer. 

And do you feel ready to become CEO of your company? We'll read you: