Jul 21, 2018

Arthur Brooks on four jobs of the CEO

Starting around 13:15 in his interview with Ezra Klein (a):

Brooks: The top management of any organization has to basically have two people, at least, doing four jobs.

Here are the four jobs:

  • Vision
  • Resources
  • Execution
  • Accountability

And the chief executive's job really should be, 85%, 95% should be vision and resources.

The biggest problem inside organizations – the thing that wrecks organizations – is that everybody is competing to be the chief operating officer. Everybody wants to be the executor, the guy who checks the lists, the guy who makes things work right.

Why? Because vision and resources? That's really hard! It's easy to fail.

"Where are we going? Do ya see it?"

Do you see something bigger, more moral, something that's going to improve our lives?

And here's what we need to get it: brains, money, and relationships. I'm gonna go out and get 'em and bring 'em back in a bag.

That's what the chief executive's job really, really is. And so what you need is people surrounding you doing the other jobs.

By the way, a big mistake a lot of new executives, new leaders make – they keep trying to do their old job.