CEO responsibilities today are more complex and burdensome than ever. The novel coronavirus, talent shortages, the presidential election, digital transformation, competitive pressures: CEOs must confront a never-ending onslaught of issues and challenges, and 2020 will be no exception. While some of these disruptive forces aren’t new, they are increasing in “complexity and intensity,” according to an Accenture survey of C-Suite executives.
In this rapidly changing environment, CEOs cannot rely on experience alone. A German C-suite executive told Accenture that: “In a linear world CEOs could project their experience into the future. Today, experience does not have that same value because the world is developing exponentially.”
Today’s CEOs must be more adaptable, humble, and willing to learn. To survive and thrive, they should be comfortable making bold decisions and moves. CEOs should recognize they cannot be experts in everything, especially as environments shift and disruptions occur faster than ever. Instead, they need to bring together disparate teams to collaborate on initiatives that move their businesses forward through the uncertainty.
Along with these traits, the most critical aspect for CEOs is to realize their job is unlike any in business and fulfill those unique duties.
CEO Responsibilities 2020
The good news in this world of turbulence is that CEOs have a stabilizing force: A framework of five CEO responsibilities that provide a consistent approach to the role – if they are willing to embrace it. Great CEOs know their distinctive responsibilities and stick to them. They understand where to spend their time and how to be most effective.
The following outlines my framework of these five CEO responsibilities, which are enduring and critical for 2020 and beyond. They provide an anchor for taking calculated risks while ensuring that the organization is reaching its strategic goals.
After each one, read examples of how the top 5% of companies from PwC’s 2020 Global Digital IQ report are succeeding by fulfilling each responsibility – to the tune of 17% higher profit margin growth. According to PwC’s survey of more than 2,380 senior executives in 76 countries, these are the companies that are gaining the most value from digital, such as Sony, Liberty Mutual, Porsche, Amazon, Nestlé, Microsoft, AliBaba, John Deere, and others.*
Every company is a technology company now or working towards that goal, so these examples apply to all organizations large and small.
CEO Responsibilities 2020