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What Is A Consulting CEO?
By Bob Norton

A consulting CEO is an experienced CEO with the ability to understand and manage the strategy levels of all key business disciplines who can also be available for a fraction of the time and cost of a full-time CEO. This takes someone with actual real-world operating experience as CEO for at least five years. The key disciplines a Consulting CEO must understand very well are generally:

  1. Sales
  2. Marketing
  3. Product Development
  4. Finance
  5. Operations (This varies greatly by company and can be general and administrative functions, customer service, manufacturing or product service delivery)
  6. And how to integrate and balance resources appropriately between them all.
  7. Hiring or people across all disciplines
  8. Business design, planning, architecture and vision development

Because every company and industry is unique in some way it will be necessary for a consulting CEO to allocate resources and design strategies and tactics differently for every company and situation. However, what most consultants can not do is provide a broad enough perspective due to a career mainly in one or two areas, and little or real no experience in the others. Most consultants are specialists, not generalists. Every business plan and strategy change will require changes across the organization and experience across all is required to design and adjust the business for optimum success.

Key skills a consulting CEO, or any CEO, must possess are discussed in the article "68 Responsibilities of A CEO", but in short the skill sets required by general category are: (click on hyperlinks for articles written by Mr. Norton on each area)

  1. A broad understanding of business with many years management experience at both the strategic and tactical levels
  2. Interviewing and selecting people by experience, quality and personality type appropriate for each position.
  3. Ability to design and communicate a vision that can work (a very elaborate exercise requiring many years experience running businesses and usually taking 8 weeks of full-time work to complete from scratch).
  4. P & L and finance experience to manage costs and expenses in such a way as to develop the company on the amount of capital that can be raised realistically without risk of running out of cash.
  5. Knowledge of the methods of various types and costs of sales and marketing strategies and tactics, and when they will work and fail.
  6. Ability to "feel out" a market niche that is defensible by the company both short-term and longer-term as the company expands.
  7. Executive management skills to use and further develop both the management team and the business and strategy appropriately.
  8. Ability to develop products and services fine tune a product for a market balancing cost, time, risk, and all resources needed to develop and deliver it to a particular market at a particular price point..
  9. Ability to manage people in a way appropriate to their own abilities and personal development.
  10. Ability to balance the needs of stockholders, employees and customers in a way that keeps all happy.

Some Sample Articles On Executive Management and Organizational Development:

  1. Modes of Management - Shifting Management Gears As Your Company's Stage of Development Evolves
  2. What is A Vision and Why Every Business Needs One
  3. Top 8 Ways to Improve Customer Service
  4. Principals of Risk Management
  5. Management Methods - A Simple and Effective Model For Building Your Organization Without Limits
  6. A Simple Framework For Employee Development
  7. All Other Articles Arranged By Topic

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