A CEO establishes the vision, mission and strategy for the workplace. This executive both reports to and serves as a member of the company's board of directors, taking the top leadership role in charting the direction of the organization. Successful CEOs have the ability to motivate and influence employees while ensuring the financial stability of the company.
Setting the Tone
The CEO establishes the core values and strategy of the workplace. He is accountable for developing, communicating and executing strategic plans to facilitate sustainable business success. The CEO leads the development of annual goals and works with leadership team members to guide the successful execution of strategies that promote financial and organizational value. The CEO is also responsible for fostering an ethical and motivated workplace culture capable of achieving business goals.
Qualified to Lead
The ideal CEO candidate has a track record of successful leadership and experience working with boards of directors identifying areas of risk and opportunities for growth. A CEO must be a decisive leader, capable of making efficient and effective decisions to positively effect organizational success. The CEO must also be committed to promoting the welfare of the workplace from a financial, cultural and competitive market standpoint. The CEO is accountable for the identification of differentiators designed to promote the company over its competition.
A CEO's leadership skills include the ability to build a collaborative team of top executives for each functional group in the workplace, such as sales, finance, operations, information technology, purchasing, corporate security, human resources and quality. The person occupying this role must also be an exceptional communicator who keeps stakeholders informed, gains the commitment of motivated employees, and is polished enough to address media and community representatives as needed.
Moving Up the Ladder
CEOs typically have graduate degrees, most often in business administration or organizational leadership. A CEO traditionally rises up through the ranks, serving first in hands-on management positions to gain a broad understanding of business operations, strategy planning, financial management and leadership. In a global corporation with multiple divisions, the CEO should have formerly served as a divisional president with responsibility for international business operations.
2016 Salary Information for Top Executives
Top executives earned a median annual salary of $109,140 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, top executives earned a 25th percentile salary of $70,800, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $165,620, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 2,572,000 people were employed in the U.S. as top executives.