Question of the Day: What Does a CEO Do All Day?

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Nov 11, 2014
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Career, Question of the Day, Current Events

You are a high school student with big ambitions.  You want to be a Chief Executive Officer, a CEO in business parlance, you know the Head Honcho, Big Cheese, the Big Kahuna, “the one calling the shots.”  Next question:  What are you going to be doing all day as CEO?

Marketplace has an answer with a 5 minute audio:

Andrea Prat, a professor of economics at Columbia Business School, who studies this exact corporate mystery, says over 80 percent of a CEO’s time “is spent in interactions with other people.”

To translate academic-speak into more conversational language: CEOs, says Prat, spend most of their days in meetings. And, he notes, most of the meetings are with employees inside the company. If you find yourself questioning this practice, concerned that meetings have a poor reputation as wasters of time, says Prat: “Surprisingly, that’s actually not what we find.”  Instead, he says, the more time a CEO spends in meetings with his or her employees, the better the company does.

Takeaway:  Join a student club and get some experience running meetings!

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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