Skip to main content
A-Z IndexCalendarsDirectoryMaps

Background Image for Header:

Home / Academics / Careers / Chief Executives Career

Chief Executives Career

Career Description

Determine and formulate policies and provide overall direction of companies or private and public sector organizations within guidelines set up by a board of directors or similar governing body. Plan, direct, or coordinate operational activities at the highest level of management with the help of subordinate executives and staff managers.

What Job Titles Chief Executives Might Have

  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
  • President
  • Vice President

What Chief Executives Do

  • Direct or coordinate an organization's financial or budget activities to fund operations, maximize investments, or increase efficiency.
  • Appoint department heads or managers and assign or delegate responsibilities to them.
  • Analyze operations to evaluate performance of a company or its staff in meeting objectives or to determine areas of potential cost reduction, program improvement, or policy change.
  • Direct, plan, or implement policies, objectives, or activities of organizations or businesses to ensure continuing operations, to maximize returns on investments, or to increase productivity.
  • Prepare budgets for approval, including those for funding or implementation of programs.
  • Confer with board members, organization officials, or staff members to discuss issues, coordinate activities, or resolve problems.
  • Implement corrective action plans to solve organizational or departmental problems.
  • Direct human resources activities, including the approval of human resource plans or activities, the selection of directors or other high-level staff, or establishment or organization of major departments.
  • Establish departmental responsibilities and coordinate functions among departments and sites.
  • Preside over or serve on boards of directors, management committees, or other governing boards.
  • Negotiate or approve contracts or agreements with suppliers, distributors, federal or state agencies, or other organizational entities.
  • Coordinate the development or implementation of budgetary control systems, recordkeeping systems, or other administrative control processes.
  • Review reports submitted by staff members to recommend approval or to suggest changes.
  • Deliver speeches, write articles, or present information at meetings or conventions to promote services, exchange ideas, or accomplish objectives.
  • Interpret and explain policies, rules, regulations, or laws to organizations, government or corporate officials, or individuals.
  • Prepare or present reports concerning activities, expenses, budgets, government statutes or rulings, or other items affecting businesses or program services.
  • Review and analyze legislation, laws, or public policy and recommend changes to promote or support interests of the general population or special groups.
  • Administer programs for selection of sites, construction of buildings, or provision of equipment or supplies.
  • Direct or conduct studies or research on issues affecting areas of responsibility.
  • Direct or coordinate activities of businesses or departments concerned with production, pricing, sales, or distribution of products.
  • Make presentations to legislative or other government committees regarding policies, programs, or budgets.
  • Refer major policy matters to elected representatives for final decisions.
  • Direct or coordinate activities of businesses involved with buying or selling investment products or financial services.
  • Conduct or direct investigations or hearings to resolve complaints or violations of laws or testify at such hearings.
  • Direct non-merchandising departments, such as advertising, purchasing, credit, or accounting.
  • Prepare bylaws approved by elected officials and ensure that bylaws are enforced.
  • Serve as liaisons between organizations, shareholders, and outside organizations.
  • Attend and participate in meetings of municipal councils or council committees.
  • Represent organizations or promote their objectives at official functions or delegate representatives to do so.
  • Organize or approve promotional campaigns.

What Chief Executives Should Be Good At

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

What Chief Executives Should Be Interested In

What Chief Executives Need to Learn

  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Personnel and Human Resources - Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Economics and Accounting - Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Diploma iconThis career requires a graduate degree.
Median Salary: $181,210

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.