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Proper Skills Needed for CEO STerm Paper

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Leadership

Four major questions have been posed when it comes to business, leadership and the skill sets required to excel in both. The first question centres on the role of Chief Executive Office. The role itself will be defined. There will also be a listing of the competencies and skills that a typical or desirable CEO should demonstrate and have. The second question will centre on what the effective communication skills are. Indeed, it will be defined what skills will be mastered and displayed if a business and its leadership wishes to engage its employees and excel in business overall. Third, there will be an identification and definition of three different leadership styles and how each of those styles is best applied based on the circumstances and what is needed at the time. Finally, there will be a discussion of the role of ethics in business and how ethics could and should affect everyday business decisions. Further, it will be discussed how employees can be directed when it comes to the importance of ethics in their day-to-day tasks.

What is the role of the CEO in an organisation? What competencies and skills should a CEO demonstrate?

Of course, most people are aware that the Chief Executive Officer, often shortened to CEO, is the lead employee and executive in the firm. While Chief Executive Officers are quite often accountable to a board of directors or some other regulatory body, the proverbial "buck" stops with the Chief Executive Officer more often than for any other position. Even the other main executives of the firm such as the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Operating Officer and the Chief Technology Officer typically report directly to the CEO. If a business fails at a high level, the Chief Executive Officer is typically the person that gets the blame (Goleman, 2000).

With that in mind, there are some core competencies and skills that a good Chief Executive Officer should have. To finish the thought started in the prior paragraph, there is one common answer that will be found when someone asks what the objective of a Chief Executive Officer happens to be - get results. However, saying that and defining how precisely the Chief Executive Officer should go about achieving that are two entirely different things. There is no shortage of people and leaders that are ready, willing and able to voice their opinion about what it takes and what is required for Chief Executive Officers to succeed. However, the pool of them together really fall into one of three compartments, those being strategic, financial and organisational endeavours. The key part to being a good leader for all three of those is to resemble and become the right leadership style based on the situation and circumstances at hand. With that in mind, there are six different leadership styles that many people would point to. A good leader will use all of them at one point or another and they will know why to use what approach and when. Those six styles are coercive, authoritative, affiliative, democratic, pacesetting and coaching. Some of those might not sound like a good idea to use (e.g. coercive, etc.) but there are scenarios where all of these are usable (Goleman, 2000).

A coercive style is one that demands immediate compliance. Basically, the Chief Executive Officer gives an order and immediate compliance with that order is expected immediately. The overall impact of this style is negative and should only be used in situations where it is needed. Guards controlling prisoners would be a good example. An authoritative style is not all that dissimilar to coercive but it takes a different tone. Rather than meaning "do what I say and do it now," it is more like "come with me" and portrays an aura of self-confidence, empathy and a catalyst for change. This sort of approach is called for when changes require a new vision and direction. As such, the overall impact on the climate of a business is mostly and usually positive with an authoritative style. An affiliative style is one based on the creation of harmony and the building of emotional bond. Even if there is work to do and it needs to be done at the end of the day, this is a positive approach across the board because the root message is that "people come first." Words that can be associated with this approach are empathy, building of relationships and communication. There is also the democratic style where opinions are garnered and listed to in a direct and meaningful way. This approach is also positive. The fifth style is also a bit negative in the grand scheme of things but is sometimes necessary. It is not unlike the coercive style in that the basic directive in question is "do as I do ... and do it now." There is a leading by example but the pressure brought to bear from this approach can be abrasive to come. Finally, there is the coaching style. This is the approach that develops people for the future. The phrase that is emblematic of this approach is "try this" and it centres on things like the development of others, empathy and self-awareness (Goleman, 2000).

There is actually a good source of leadership advice out there which is actually a fictional character. Alex Knapp of Forbes noted that there are five leadership lessons that one could learn from none other than James T. Kirk of Star Trek. Of course, those five lessons could absolutely be applied to the calculus and development of Chief Executive Officers. The first lesson would be to never stop learning. There should never be a point where someone thinks or feels that they have learned everything that they need to know because there is no chance of that ever being true. Second, it is important to have advisors and confidants that have different world views. Having a bunch of "yes men" (or women) that are completely simpatico with what a leader feel might be easier in terms of interacting with them and debating them. However, this does not make for the best decisions because it is basically a setup for group think and that is not good. The third skill that Kirk had which CEO's should use is to be part of the "away team." In short, this means not protecting and shielding one's self in an ivory tower and actually getting out there with the workers and in the field to see what is really going on. The Forbes article uses the example of a general manager of a defunct pizza chain actually spending time making pizzas everyday rather than just having someone else do it, which was certainly within his rights to do. This sort of behaviour builds and keeps a connection with the workers as they typically realise that the leader in question does not feel it is "beneath" him or her to work in the proverbial trenches and go through the same toils and travails as the workers. The third lesson that CEO's should take from Kirk is to play poker and not chess. Life is all about probabilities and that is really what poker is as compared to chess. With chess, one player may not know what the other is going to do next (at least for certain) but the proverbial playing field and the pieces are all seen. This is not remotely the case in poker and wins can be established even without the winning cards. Finally, there is the metaphor of blowing up the Enterprise. This basically means that reinventing the wheel and taking a new path is not always the easiest thing to do but it is sometimes required if the existing business model is not working. For example, the author of this report would point to the CEO of Blockbuster Video should have realised that the days of renting DVD's and Blu-Ray's was numbered but they did not act fast enough and now Blockbuster, at least in terms of brick and mortar stores, is no more (Knapp, 2012). Such happenstances have occurred with CEO's like Steve Jobs of Apple Corporation acclaim and most people would never dare question his acumen (Isaacson, 2012).

Even with all of the above being said, the aforementioned "get results" competency is a bit broad and vague. As such, there should be a drilling down of what that really means and how it commonly manifests. The skills of a good Chief Executive Officer include a strong ability to delegate authority, a high amount of attention to detail, presenting a presence that is assertive and profession, the ability to get buy-in and allegiance from subordinates at all levels and a modicum of loyalty to employees and managers alike. Employees and managers have to know, per the pizza chain example above, that the CEO is not some disengaged party that views their employee as cattle or some other sort of commodity that can be moved around or replaced. The good… [END OF PREVIEW]

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