The level of effectiveness of people working in the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is important not only for the well-being of employees working for the same company, but to the state of the national economy in general. Therefore, it has to be insured that only people with relevant skills, character, experience and knowledge are employed in such a responsible position.
This first part of the report discusses working conditions, rewards and main tasks of CEOs, as well as briefly analyses qualifications, personal characteristics and skills CEOs must posses. Moreover, CEO person specification is also provided in the first part of the report.
CEO Working Conditions, Rewards and Main Tasks
CEO’s working conditions are perceived to be posh and luxurious with fashionable and highly expensive office furniture, usually grandiose design and latest technological appliances. However, Burke and McDonald (2010) warn not to be mislead with the perception of comfort associated with the role of CEO and mention such elements as increasingly long working hours, and huge amount of stress to be associated with the role.
CEO’s usually receive remuneration packages that are highly attractive and include basic pay, usually in six digit figured, bonuses and a wide range of other perks, such as company cars, free insurance, and in some instances even free homes. Moreover, even when CEOs have to leave their position due to some reasons they are offered a considerable sum of payment, known as a golden parachute.
According to Canals (2010) CEO’s main tasks can be summarised to the following points:
a) Implementing the mission and values of company;
b) Leadership development
c) Allocating resources in an efficient manner
d) Maximising operational efficiency
e) Implementing operational design
Qualifications for CEO
There is no specific formal qualification requirements for individuals aspiring to the corporate executive positions, and formal qualifications of CEO’s usually vary from MBAs to PhDs. At the same time, Bennis and Thomas (2007) state that personal characteristics and traits, as well as relevant experiences are considered to be far more important for CEOs than formal qualifications.
Moreover, it has been stated that “strange may it sound; there are no formal qualification requirements to become a CEO. Many small and even some medium-sized companies have executives that have little by way of formal academic qualifications. They have learned the business ‘bottom-up’ and have progressed up the career ladder by expertise and sheer hard work” (Paul, 2010, online).
However, the statement above mainly relates to small and medium-sized businesses, and CEOs of larger organisations are mainly highly qualified individuals.
Personal Characteristics and Skills CEOs Must Have
CEOs have to posses a wide range of personal characteristics and skills in order to be successful in their positions. Leadership and motivational skills are widely considered to be necessary attributes for CEOs among management researchers and practitioners. It has been also stated that “a CEO needs to be decisive. They have to be able to make tough decisions under conditions of uncertainty. In many instances being indecisive or a populist will hurt the company” (Arguden, 2009, p.104).
Cohen (2007) specifies effective communication skills as one of the most important skills for CEOs and attempts to justify his stand by stating that CEOs need to communicate with various stakeholders in order to carry on with their duties in a daily basis.
Moreover, other necessary skills and characteristics for CEOs include time management skills, cross-cultural knowledge, assertiveness, ability to take risks, flexibility, and ability to learn. Specifically, the need for cross-cultural knowledge for CEOs need to be emphasized due to the fact that CEOs have to deal with the representatives of various cultural background on a daily basis, and on the absence of such a knowledge the CEO would face considerable difficulties.
CEO Person Specification
The following table represents person specification for the role of CEO:
|Qualifications Bachelor’s Degree
|Experience Management experience in the same industry
Experience in managing resources
|Capabilities and Skills Excellent written and verbal communication skills
In-depth technical knowledge of industry
|Personal attributes High level of self-motivation
High level of self-confidence
Drive and determination
The level of efficiency of CEOs has direct practical implications to the level of well-being of people working for the organisation, as well as to the economic situation within the country. This report clarified a set of issues associated with the position and identified CEOs to be responsible for the overall performance of their company.
Accordingly, it has been identified that CEOs need to posses a number of skills and capabilities such as leadership, communication, and time management skills. Moreover, no formal qualification requirements were found to be imposed for CEOs in some organisations, while the majority of CEOs were found to posses Bachelor’s Degrees and MBAs.
The practical implications of this part of the report includes individuals aspiring to the leadership positions reading this report, identifying necessary skills, capabilities and qualifications and identifying the ways of obtaining and developing them.
- Arguden, Y, 2009, Boardroom Secrets: Corporate Governance for Quality of Life, Palgrave Macmillan
- Bennis, WG, Thomas, AJ, 2007, Leading for a Lifetime. How defining moments shape the leaders of today and tomorrow, Harvard Business School Press
- Burke, O & McDonald, D, 2010, The CEO: An Interactive Book, Simon & Schuster
- Canals, J, 2010, Building Respected Companies, Cambridge University Press
- Cohen, E, 2007, Leadership Without Borders. Successful strategies from world-class leaders, John Wiley & Sons (Asia) Pte Ltd.
- Paul, 2010, How to Become a CEO, Available at: http://www.searchengineblog.com/how-to-become-a-ceo/ Accessed May, 30, 2011