Does your business card say CEO? Maybe it says President? That title is a bit of an exaggeration, don’t you think? Your card probably should say something like designer, baker, programmer or freelancer. The title CEO doesn’t really mean anything unless you do what a “real” CEO does.

Running a business is hard. Growing a business is really hard. A business owner has to grow before a business can. That’s the hard part. Understanding the things you do vs. the things you should be doing is an important part of growing into a CEO.

Below are a few things CEOs do and a few things CEOs don’t do. If you want to be a real CEO, just do things that a CEO does. It isn’t that easy, but it is that simple.

Things a CEO does
Hire smart people
Craft marketing strategies
Understand financial condition of company
Create strategic partnerships
Develop new services
Acquire companies
Make investments
Communicate vision
Empower people
Close large sales
Motivate people
Raise money
Implement systems

Things a CEO doesn’t do
Design the website
Ship boxes
Manage clients
Create invoices
Take customer support calls
Closing small sales
Write code


  1. Facebook has a CEO and guess what he wrote the first set of code. Maybe he is not doing it today but he did it, so there is a difference between getting a position as a CEO or getting your ass to the CEO role.(Creating your own company)

    10/26/11 at 12:22 am
  2. Hey Marius – I totally agree. Doing many of the hands on stuff, shapes what kind of CEO you will be in the future. Understanding those things and executing them well is part of the process. You can’t skip this part of the evolution.

    Zuckerberg wouldn’t be the CEO he is today if he didn’t start off coding. Google wouldn’t exist if Sergey and Larry weren’t hard-core geeks. But at some point an evolution has to occur. If Zuckerberg didn’t pull his head out of the code long enough to raise money, hire a team or focus on higher-level product issues, Facebook would have been a college novelty at best.

    10/26/11 at 10:24 am
  3. Wise words that are so easy to write, but it takes a wiser person to follow.

    Glad you are sharing your: “Deep thoughts by Ryan Evans” with others.

    Rachel Baker
    10/26/11 at 10:38 am
  4. A CEO’s position was distilled down to me like this. They set the vision and communicate it to their team and shareholders, they recruit and retain top talent, and make sure there is money in the bank. Everything else must be delegated to their top lieutenants.

    10/26/11 at 5:32 pm
  5. Jesse – While that’s a shorter blog post, I think I like it better :)

    12/14/11 at 1:40 pm

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