What The CEO Expects From His or Her Manager?

Every manager in an organization has one ambition he/she secretly hopes to achieve in his/her career:to be in confidence of his/her CEO. But how exactly is it possible to realize this ambition? For this, the manager needs to understand how the CEO thinks and what is it that he/she expects from his/her managers. The one who correctly comprehends the expectations of his/her CEO and establishes them in his/her work would have truly understood the business and organizational perspective and will be a valuable resource to his/her company.

Managers in an organization can be at various levels. He/she could be a Team Leader who leads a team, a Functional Manager heading a function or a sub function or even a Vice President or General Manager heading an entire unit or a large division. The CEO expects him/her to not just perform well at his/her tasks but contribute to the growth of the organization as well.

So how to interpret what the CEO expects?

The basics are simple. The manager must have the essential personality traits required to be a part of a successful organization. He/she must be high in integrity, discipline, trust-worthiness and have a focused drive that makes him/her efficient and prompt. He/she must be able to meet the deadlines and accomplish his/her tasks and targets within the preconditioned time period while adhering to the company’s SOPs. The most important basic requirement of a manger is that he/she must at all times be cost effective in areas of operations. Another important aspect of being an effective manager is his/her ability to take appropriate decisions for the organization.  He/she must be able to delegate work efficiently and execute the decisions he/she takes efficaciously.

In addition to these, a manager can prove his/her usefulness by developing traits which the CEO is looking out for – such as:

  •  A manager must always have the eagerness to learn more and more about his job & business. He should have the zeal to take on more work and responsibility for his/her company.
  •  He/she should focus not only on operational efficiency, but also on building processes, developing a team, have strategic thinking and always be customer focused.
  •  The manager himself/herself must be capable of handling multiple jobs efficiently.
  •  A manager must not only perform well at his/her assigned task but work towards the greater contribution to his/her company. E.g. be part of a growth team, be an active member of a new product development team, facilitate cultural renewal process, represent the company in national and international forums etc.
  •  Developing business acumen skills is a key requirement of a resourceful manager i.e. connecting every action to the business strategy, company and departmental goals enhance profitability and cash generation, improving or sustaining margin, managing growth, managing customers and above all creating value for the organization.
  •  The manager must have avidity to cross-functional learning and working.
  •  He should be a quick learner and must adapt to change in the business environment as the business environment these days is very dynamic.

To achieve all these qualities mentioned above the manager needs certain competencies:

  •  The manager needs to develop a problem-solving attitude i.e. he should train himself/herself to look for effective solutions and be a part of a solution not a problem.
  •  The manager is required to be a good leader i.e. he must have the leadership skills to lead a team in the right way.
  •  He/she must have constant professional update in terms of knowledge and skill and the environment in terms of knowledge of competition, industry practices, regulation and policies.
  •  He/she must prove to be an ideal role model for the company for demonstrating value system of the company and discipline.
  •  The manager must also be able to act as a coach or a mentor to his/her subordinates to channel their work efficiently.
  •  A good manager should always have or develop a global mindset to maintain international standards for his/her company. This also prepares him/her to take up any global assignments for his/her company outside of his/her own country.
  •  Another very essential quality for a manager is that he/she should be an effective communicator and also be receptive to feedback for constant improvement and self development.

Above all, a manager today needs to be more technology and IT savvy to achieve optimum productivity level continuously in his/her job. This will also help him/her to be a better planner and organize and monitor his/her work efficiently.

If a manager is able to instill the above mentioned traits and competencies, he/she will not only achieve the goals in his/her career but he/she will also be in the visibility of his/her company as a productive contributor. All this will help him/her to realize his/her aspiration of being in confidence with his/her CEO.

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