There are six distinct roles* that a CEO has to master (or at the very least become competent in) to provide the best opportunity for success for their business.

COACH: Ensure the entire company is made up of a series of teams who are the players who actually sell make, deliver, and service the product.

Management coaches the teams; and the CEO coaches the coaches

  • Set meaningful goals... Pick Initiatives to drive Revenue and Productivity. These initiatives are what make the goals possible.
  • Communicate & Build Trust........ Team meetings and One-to-One’s
  • Track progress publicly
    • Use Key Performance Drivers and provide Feedback on Results
    • Provide actionable data on:
      • Customers and Prospects
      • Productivity
      • What’s working, what isn’t
  • Plan and anticipate the Future; how to capitalise on opportunities, protect vs. threats
  • Hire Winners and put them In the Best Jobs......recruiting successfully and then managing performance
  • Organise yourself and others to do the job. Determine what resources are needed.
  • Celebrate Successes, provide Recognition and Rewards

  STUDENT: Learn and bring resources back to the company

  • Stretch outside your comfort zone by trying out what you learn
  • Find out what works and what doesn’t


  • Explore, develop, test and implement new concepts, products, services, designs.
  • Continually improve internal systems to reduce cost and errors and increase customer satisfaction.

STRATEGIST: Set direction you want the company to go

  • Set the compelling mission for the employees; set standards that must be met
  • Choose best points of leverage to drive on strengths and reduce weaknesses


  • Externally: Promote the company
  • Internally: Serve as a Role Model (it’s happening anyway so be conscious of what you portray).

INVESTOR/FINANCE: Manage the Balance Sheet – grow the long term value of the business.

• Decide which Initiatives you can fund and on what time schedule
- Initiatives that drive Revenue
- Initiatives that drive Productivity
- Initiatives that drive the Future

*Adapted from work by Larry King and Kraig Kramers.

So, what is your balance? Go ahead, write the six roles down and estimate, over the last week or two, where you spent your time. Most people get this wildly wrong, and not by a small amount either.

The best way to improve anything is with data. We have prepared a simple grid to help you to capture where you are spending your time and which of the roles you are doing at the time. (We added a 7th 'faffing' as all of us spend some time each day in that area).

Print 10 sheets out - that will give you a 2 weeks worth of data (you will need more if you work weekends, but you DO take proper breaks from work - Don't you!)

Each day start a new sheet. As often as possible throughout the day capture what you were doing in 15 minute chunks. If a meeting is 50% strategy and 50% coach then mark it as such - for a first pass aim for 90% accuracy.

At the end of the day total the time in each section.

At the end of the week/fortnight decide on your balance. 

What is it that you need to do more of?

What is it that you should do less of?

In a few months time repeat the exercise - were you successful? What should your new balance be?