How Do CEOs Spend Their Time ?
The highest rung of the corporate ladder has always held mystery and respect for ordinary people. The face of an organization must understandably be very busy with meetings, trips, and other commitments. But have you ever wondered how a CEO work day looks like?
CEOs Spend a Lot of Time on
- Polishing the business model
- Working on the pricing, profits, and value proposition of the organization
- Identifying and honing talented resources
In younger companies, the CEOs tend to interview every person hired by the organization.
Results from Research into CEO’s Time
Several researchers have conducted studies to analyze just how CEOs spend their time and what effect it has on their organizations.
A. John P Kotter’s work – What Leaders Really Do?
Published in 1999 was based on the activities of 15 general managers for 35 hours each, chosen non-randomly from companies.
- Due to the small sample size, generalizations cannot be made from the data collected.
- However, it was found that time constraints were the single-most important factor for CEOs.
B. Other studies showed that communication (Bolton and Dewatripoint, 1994)
Information processing (Van Zandt, 1998), and problem solving (Garicano, 2000) are factors that are important for CEOs.
C. A wider study was conducted by four professors
- Oriana Bandiera, London School of Economics
- Andrea Prat, London School of Economics
- Luigi Guiso, European University Institute
- Raffaella Sadun, Harvard University
They studied 94 CEOs working at leading Italian companies and asked their personal assistants to record their activities during a specified week. All activities longer than 15 minutes were recorded.
According to the Findings
A. CEOs spend 85% of their time with other people, either employees of the organization or outsiders.
- CEOs attend a lot of meetings that take up 60% of their time.
- They spend 25% of their time taking phone calls and attending public events.
B. A mere 15% of their time was spent working alone.
The time spent by the CEOs during their work week was also categorized in a different way.
- 42% of their time was spent with employees inside the company.
- 25% of their time was spent with insiders as well as outsiders, such as employees and suppliers.
- 16% of their time was spent with outsiders only.
Further categorization was done in this way
- The CEO spent an average of 8.6 hours every week with the finance department.
- He or she spent 5.5 hours every week with the human resources department.
- CEOs spent an average of 4.7 hours every week with consultants.
- They spend the least amount of time with suppliers, at an average of 1.3 hours per week.
Thus, it was found that the more hard-working the CEO, the more time he or she spent with people inside the company.
How can the CEO help a Company?
What benefits a company is the amount of time a CEO spends with its employees. The time spent by the CEO outside the company only serves to strengthen his or her business networks. (Entrepreneur Quotes)
Thus, an effective CEO should be devoting most of his or her time within the organization, rather than with external people.
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