I’ve been thinking …
I was always a little bit uncomfortable calling myself the CEO when my company was so tiny. I didn’t feel like I could live up to such a lofty title. Of course I knew that when a business is very small, the CEO title implies Chief Everything Officer more than its intended definition of Chief Executive but just the same, it sounded weird to my ears. But I am learning what a CEO does and I definitely am the CEO, at least for now.
Think of the CEO as the captain of a sea vessel – a ship if you will. The captain is responsible for the ship and all of its assets. She is also responsible for the safety of the crew and the passengers – and must guard against damage to the ocean, to the shore and to passing vessels.
The captain sets the course, is kept informed of peril and navigates around shallow water, storms and obstacles. She ensures her crew is well-trained and capable of doing their jobs and are ready to leap into action if an emergency occurs. Everyone on the ship knows their role and can perform their duties regardless of what dangers befall them. And although on a small craft, the potential for death and destruction is much smaller than on an ocean liner, the role of the captain is exactly the same. Without a skilled leader at the helm issuing coherent commands, chaos reigns and the craft is imperiled.
Is this not perfectly analogous to the role of the CEO? Are we not responsible for the business and all of its assets? Are we not responsible for the well-being of our team and our customers? Must we not also guard against damage to our environment and to our community? Must we not navigate the uncertainties of our industry and our fickle market – plotting a safe course against the pitfalls that threaten our survival?
Regardless of the size of our business – like with sea vessels – our job as CEO is to make sure that our team is trained to do their job in times of serenity. And in times of peril, we must ensure that our team is prepared to leap into the breech until the business can be righted and the danger passes. The CEO and his team is ever vigilant – navigating the economic waters to profit and sustainability – and making sure everyone can perform at their peak.
I think that the role of the CEO – like the role of the ship’s captain – is the most critical to the survival of the business and the well-being of its team, its customers, its owners and its community.
What do you think?
Until tomorrow, GUNG Ho friends!