Best Practices in Executive Leadership

September 1, 2009Sparxoo


By Ethan Lyon, Senior Writer

“I always believe that ultimately, if people are paying attention, then we get good government and good leadership,” says President Barack Obama. “And when we get lazy, as a democracy and civically start taking shortcuts, then it results in bad government and politics.” It is of the essence that our business leaders, big and small, take the reigns of our economy and lead the country in an honest, hard-working and innovative direction to emerge from these challenging times more learned and smarter than before.

It is the key executive posts that will need to demonstrate the best practices to lead the way. We surveyed industry experts to glean the best practices in each key executive post: chief executive, marketing, financial and operating officer. In the coming weeks we will share these key insights and explore how to effectively lead and coordinate management teams.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – CEOs have an incredible balance between internal and external communications. From the top floor to the bottom, it’s incredibly important to have a finely tuned pulse on what is happening in and outside of your company. Leading executive teams in upper management to the entry level employees, the CEO has an incredible responsibility to coordinate and lead his / her vision. We explore the effective techniques for each type of communication no matter which floor you’re communicating with.

Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) – CMOs have to balance their responsibility to drive business performance and brand development over the long-run, while delivering short-term results.  In the quick-turn world of CMOs, sometimes tactics drive strategies. Everyone needs results now, so CMOs are often stuck in the loop of trying to drive immediate results instead of creating a plan that could work but may take months to come to fruition. For aspiring CMOs, newly appointed CMOs, or those who have managed to survive in this difficult environment, we share our perspective on key areas of focus in providing marketing leadership.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) – Today, the CFO is much more than an accountant and reporter of earnings, there is the opportunity to provide strategic impact in collaborating with the management team to shape the business. Ultimately, the CFO is responsible for leadership over company monetary performance. We share the advantages of key metrics in business performance, the role of risk manager and the importance of understanding IT and data management systems.

Chief Operating Officer
(COO) — As the senior manager of daily operations, the COO must provide internal leadership and coordinate routine activities. As such, the COO must ensure the company is efficient and in-line with the CEO’s strategic vision. Now, more than ever, the COO is expected to drive efficiency and ensure the daily operations are as lean as possible. Time allocation and resources are key elements a COO must use efficiently and effectively while still guiding the strategic efforts of the CEO. Ultimately, the COO drives productivity and profits through the continual improvement on the day-to-day functions of the company.

Photo by Sanja Gjenero by Stock.Xchng