Ask Rick: What's My Role As CEO? - Rick Mulready

rick mulready

Ask Rick: What’s My Role As CEO?

January 20, 2023

In this quick tip episode of Art of Online Business, I’m doing an “Ask Rick” episode. This is where I answer questions that I get from people that I think would really benefit your business. 

So in this episode, I want to talk about your role as the CEO. In past episodes, I shared more about why you should be incorporating CEO time into your business. This is when you block off time on your schedule to focus only on CEO things. You create space to be intentional and work through things in your business that need your attention. 

This really is like a secret weapon for growth in your business, and you guys let me know that this really resonated with you. I heard from many listeners that they really needed to hear that. 

I’m expanding on CEO responsibilities today and taking you through some high-level questions you should be thinking about and sharing a list of responsibilities that you should focus on as the CEO of your business.


In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The importance of CEO time
  • High-level questions you need to ask yourself as CEO
  • The responsibilities you have to be in charge of
  • The importance of creating relationships 
  • Your role in managing your team
  • Creating your company culture
  • How you are the “what” and the “why” person


Links & Resources:

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I use and love and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.


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All right. Welcome to today’s episode of The Art of Online Business podcast, My Friends. I’m Rick Mullaney, your host. And today is a quick tip episode. And what I want to do today is this is an Ask Rick episode. I want to be doing more of these episodes here in the show where people ask me questions and when I think these questions can really benefit you, the listener of the show here, I’m going to share it with you here on the podcast. So if you’ve got a question you want to talk about here in the podcast, by the way, shoot me a DM over on Instagram at Rick Moretti is the handle over there on the IG and ask me a question and I could answer it here on the show in addition to answering their for you on the DM. But today I want to talk about your role as CEO. I did an episode here on the podcast several months ago where I talked about incorporating CEO time into your schedule. This is something that I do every Friday morning. So Friday morning or Friday, just all day, I have no call schedule. I have nothing on the calendar except for it’s basically an off day for me. I do a four day week and Friday mornings though is kind of my CEO time, as I call it, where I’m thinking about things. I’m thinking through something where I’m creating space in the calendar to be intentional with thinking and working through things. 

And it was a topic that really resonated with a lot of you. As I heard from a ton of people, where it was important for them to hear that, that this is something that we can often just sort of breeze right through our calendar and not be intentional with scheduling that time in our calendar. And it’s just all doing, doing, doing when, you know, it’s sort of like a secret weapon for the growth of your business is setting aside that time in your calendar, in your week and your day to give yourself that thinking time, that CEO time. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day of our business that we often forget to even think about the business. What do you even want your role to be as the CEO? And that’s really the question that I was asked recently. And so I was helping somebody work through this, and I thought it was a discussion that can really help you as well. And so, again, what should my role be as CEO? What do I want my role to be like as the CEO? And so what I want to do here is sort of take you through some questions to ask yourself and then share some responsibilities that I really think you should be focused on as the CEO of your business and sort of some high level questions. Just to start asking yourself is what do you actually want to be doing? And a lot of these questions that I’m going to give you here are kind of obvious questions to like will do. 

Like, why wouldn’t I be thinking about that? But it’s like we often don’t think about it. What do I actually want to be doing? What do I want to be spending my time on day to day in the business? How much do you actually want to work each day, each week as the CEO? Right. And so as you start to answer some of these questions, I’m going to give you some more questions here in a second. 

Just remember that this should be fun. This is your business. Your role is the CEO can really look any way that you want it to. Again, it’s your business. You’re the boss. You get to, you get to decide. And honestly, you get to work as as much as or as little as you You choose. You know, I know some people who are very hands off in their business. They’re doing, you know, multiple seven figures in 

their business and they’re working like 10 hours a week. Amazing. I know. On the flip side, other people who have multiple seven figure businesses that I work with and they want the opposite, like they’re like, no, I really want to be in the business day to day and I just love it. Cool. It’s whatever works for you. 

And so in addition to those questions I just share with you, I want you to start off by asking yourself a few additional sort of high level questions, meaning let’s get the basis or the basic foundation down. First of what do you kind of want your role to look like? And then we can dive in to sort of, you know, these are some responsibilities that as the CEO of your business, you really are responsible for. And so the first question is how much do you actually want to be involved in leading the business and leading the team? How much do you actually want to be involved in doing that? And that might sound like a really silly question, but you could just spend your time on super high level stuff that have a CEO or an integrator or whatever you want to call it, like running the business day to day and they’re leading the team and they’re, you know, implementing your plan. Like that’s totally doable. Or you can have it where know, like you are very hands on in the business in the. Team that the team is reporting to you, that sort of thing. Like there’s all different ways to do it. But that’s why it’s important to really sit down and think about like how much do you actually want to be involved in leading the business, in leading the team? Another question is what are the things in the business that you want to be doing? What are the things in the business that you actually want to be spending your time on? Right.

So so for me, for example, that is creating content for you, like just like this. Coaching and serving our accelerator coaching members and then also doing some more of the things like we like we’ll talk about here in a minute, like setting the vision for the business, analyzing numbers and that sort of thing. So for you, like what are the things that you want to be doing in, in the business? And then likewise, what are the things that only you can do in this kind of falls under the you know, what’s your what’s your special sauce? What is your zone of genius? You know, what are you best at? And so those are the things that only you should be doing, spending your time on doing. Just as an example. No one else is going to do the podcast here, right? So like, I’m doing the podcast, you know, as far as coaching goes, can other people on my team be coaching in our accelerator coaching program? For sure I do the majority of the coaching just simply because that’s the way that I want to do it. But you know, I have had other coaches and they’re amazing. I just have set it up a little bit differently than other programs out there. Right. And so that’s the other question is what are what are the things that only you can do? So hopefully, hopefully you’ve got some alignment there of the things that you want to be doing, align with the things that only you can do. 

Hopefully. And then the other question on the flip side of that is what are the things that just make you want to puke? What are the things that you just do not want to be spending your time on? And list those things out. The idea here is to be super clear on what these things are for you. So let me just recap those questions. How much do you actually want to be involved in leading the business, leading the team? What are the things in the business that you want to be doing? What are the things that only you can do? And then on the flip side of that question, what are the things that just make you want to, you know, make you want to puke? Like you just do not want to be spending your time on those things, Because the idea is when you get clear on those things, then you can start to delegate and and hand things off to off to team and make sure they’re responsible and owning different things. And we’re not going to be getting into all that here in this episode. But I just want to sort of get the juices flowing for you and ensure that you’re spending time thinking about these types of things so that you can start to answer, like, what is your role? What is my role as CEO of your business? So now I want to get into the responsibilities that really as the CEO, these are your responsibilities. 

And, you know, can you be handing some of this off? Sure. But for the most part, what I’m going to share with you or these are the things that you’re responsible for as CEO, you know, so like things like you’re setting the overall long and short term vision for the business. Like, why are you in business and where are you going? What are you trying to accomplish? What are you what are you wanting to do with the business? You know, this also goes into like your your mission of the business and your strategic direction of 

the business. Again, where is the business going and how do you plan on getting there? Notice I’m not saying implementing that plan because that’s where like a CEO or an integrator or what have you that your team comes in and is implementing. You’re responsible for, for the vision, both short and long term. Your mission, your your strategic direction of the business. And again, what does that look like? What needs to happen in order to get there to achieve that vision? You as CEO are responsible for those things. Again, not doing necessarily, but you’re responsible for the. 30,000 foot view of those types of things and then bringing it down to the team. 

And again, we’re not going to get into all that today, but giving context and and all that sort of thing. So also, among other things, you’re going to be responsible for the organizational structure. And what I mean by that is you’re responsible for what roles do we need in the business to accomplish. And achieve the vision to achieve the the mission. Now, this is where if you have a CEO or a an integrator, what have you. You know, they can help you with that. But you as the CEO, based on the vision, based on your values, which you as a CEO are setting, by the way, that’s what’s dictating what is this organizational structure going to going to look like? I work with somebody in accelerator and they have a really big business and they have almost like different business units within the business. And so I’ve been working with them on like what does the business structure look like so that they can achieve the vision that they’re trying to do. And somebody on the team isn’t making that decision. She’s the CEO. She’s it’s her business. She’s setting that strategy. She’s setting the vision for it, the strategic direction, the organizational structure. And then from there, once she has that rough idea of what that could look like, then, you know, a CEO or an integrator can start to look at, all right, we need this role over here. 

Et cetera, etc.. Also as CEO, the next thing is you’re looking ahead to see potential challenges that that that might be ahead and coming up with plans to, you know, to avert those challenges if necessary. You’re also helping solve any big problems in the business that are going on. Now. Again, this is where you like a second or right hand person can help you with those types of things in terms of making sure that the people on the team are responsible for owning whatever they’re responsible for and solving those problems, then there’s sort of a structure for how problems get solved. And if there’s a big overarching problem, then it would come to you as CEO to help solve those things, Right. Another another area as the CEO is you are you’re creating relationships. You’re building relationships with other people in the space. This is something that I think cannot be handed off to somebody else. You know, I see this a lot, especially, you know, with this podcast here. I get pitched to be on the podcast every single day, multiple times a day, and sometimes it doesn’t happen quite a bit, but I’ll get an outreach from somebody on their team who maybe I haven’t talked to in a long time where it’s like, why isn’t the person who either wants to build a relationship with me or maybe I have a little bit of relationship with why is somebody on their team reaching out, you know? And so you as a CEO, you are building relationships with other people in the space.

You’re you’re making high level business visit business decisions and again going back to. Vision, strategic direction. Where are you going as far as the goals of the business, quarterly, yearly, etc. I mentioned before, you are setting and driving the values. So you I’ve spent a lot of time on this. I’m doing another episode coming up here in the not so distant future about values, but you are setting the values and also driving the values. What I mean by that is you’ve got the values. You’re making sure that your team understands what those values are. You know, it’s not I think it’s a really smart practice if you are going through the values literally every week when you meet with your team and you’re highlighting people on the team that are doing things through the lens of your of the business’s values, you know, it’s positive reinforcement and giving specific examples so that the other members on the team can be like, Oh yeah, like they’re doing. And this is how it relates to the values on the flip side of that, and you’re not doing this publicly, but when there is a performance issue with people on the team, you know, you’re driving this back to the values and whether whatever happened with that person, it’s you can you can drive that back to the conversation of, you know, we are not living through this specific value, whatever it is. 

And then with a specific example, right. So you’re just you’re looping it back to the values, all the decisions that are happening in your business or through the lens of your values, the vision, the mission, the strategic direction. Of the business also. And this is sort of you know, people think of this one a little bit differently than than than I do, is you are creating the culture in the company and also driving that forward. Right. So where. I’ve heard some people say, well, the team really drives the culture forward if they embrace it. Well, I get that. But I think and the way that I’ve always done it is the culture is set by if it’s your business, you set the culture that you want, right? And you enroll the team in the culture. And what I mean by that is you’re basically getting them on board. And then the culture is going to be sort of like this living, breathing thing where it’s not like, Oh, I’ve set the culture and that’s it. It’s going to be like this for forever more. It’s it’s going to be changing. It’s it’s just let it. You’re seeing how the team reacts to it, what’s working, what’s not working. But you get to set. It’s your business. You get to set whatever that culture is that you want for the team or for the business, whatever you want that to be, right? So you are creating that culture and driving that forward. 

I mentioned earlier about going on the next one I mentioned earlier about analytics, right? You are making strategic decisions based on data analysis. You ask any one of our accelerator members about like how I harp on data, how I harp on numbers and letting those things dictate the actions that you take as the CEO like you should be getting. For example, your scorecard. If you meet with your team every Monday morning or whenever it is like you should have a spreadsheet in front of you every Monday morning that your team has filled out and that has the key numbers of the business. Again, we talked about the vital signs of the business and so forth, but you’re making strategic decisions based on that analysis. Now, what I don’t mean is you’re not taking any input from your team or anything like that. Quite the contrary. Like, I like to see people say, you know, when they deliver numbers, what are their recommendations on what to do based on those numbers? And then we have a discussion. But ultimately it’s for most things, right? Like I’m not taking away ownership of certain areas of a business, but if it’s a big decision in the business, that’s that’s you that’s you’re the you’re the CEO, it’s your business. You’re the face of the business. 

You’re the face of the company. Doesn’t always have to be that way. Right? I know plenty of people who are not the face. Of the company. But unless you want to be selling at some point, then a plan needs to be placed to order to shift that. I want to do another episode here coming up about if you want to be how to set your up, set your company up to sell. But you know, for most of you, for most of you, you’re the face of the company. And so that’s your role as your as your company. And again, there are plenty of examples of exceptions that, of course, but in our online business world. And as a coach, as a course creator, maybe you’ve got a membership. Nine times out of ten, you’re the face of that of that company. I talked about building relationships in the space. And then the last thing here is you are developing the leadership team. So if you have sort of like a director of marketing, somebody who heads up your fulfillment or whatever it might be, your job as the CEO is to be coaching them. You are you are a coach. You’re spending a lot of time on developing your team so that you are helping them be the best that they can be in their job while also helping them achieve their goals, both personally and within the business. Right? So inside and outside the company. 

And a lot of people I talked to sort of sort of breeze like they don’t really think about this. This part of the role of a CEO is that and if even if you don’t have a leadership team, if you’ve just got a more sort of flat structure, if you will, on the team, like you’re there to help your team be the best that they can be. So you’re coaching them hopefully on different things that come up, like what are what are they doing well, What are areas that they can improve, improve upon and helping them along the way. And so going back to you to kind of summarize this, I’ve just thrown a lot at you here, so you might want to go back and listen to this again. A simple way to think about this as the CEO is that you are the what and the why person. You’re the what? Meaning like I want to do this because it aligns. That’s part of your the vision and the strategic direction of the business. So that’s the what. And then also a lot of people forget this part. You’re the y person, too. Why is that? What that you just came up with? Why is it important? Where does that fit into the business? How does it affect the business? What is the what’s the context of of doing that rather than just saying, All right, team, we’re going to go do this. Go to it.

Right. You give them the why. Tell them why it’s important. Tell them why. This is how this fits into the overall vision of the business and how you’re going to help people, etc., etc.. So you’re the what and the why person and then your right hand person, your CEO or your integrator or what have you is the how person. So you give the what and the why and then the team. Or if you don’t have an integrator or CEO like the team is, it’s their responsibility to figure out how to accomplish the what that you’ve just given them. So you as the CEO, you’re the what and the why. And then either your co integrator or the team. If you don’t have a CO or integrator, they’re the how. Right. You’re determining the vision and the mission and strategic direction and then the the. Everything else is is the hell. Like you’re not doing all the stuff. And if you are, it’s okay. Now you’ve got something to work towards, right? But you cannot have the kind of impact and growth in the business that I know so many of you want by. You need help in doing all of this. And so hopefully this kind of gives you some clarity on your role as the CEO, the types of things that you really should be doing and also some some really key questions to ask yourself so that you can get clear on what kind of leader that you want to be like. 

What do you actually want to be doing? What don’t you want to be doing? Where do you want to be spending your time and being really intentional with the answers to those questions and putting a plan in place to so that you’re living that each day in your business? All right, my friend, I hope this was helpful for you. If you want help with all of this. Like, this is the type of stuff that I help, among many other things I help people do inside of my accelerator coaching program. Right. This is about helping you generate more predictable revenue, increase your profit while decreasing the hours that you’re working. And what that looks like specifically is up to you, right? Like it’s success is very different for everybody. It’s got a different there’s a different definition for for all of you. Well, my goal in accelerator is to help you achieve that. Whatever level of success that you’re looking for, that’s what I do. So it’s application only. It’s for established online course creators. Or maybe you’ve got a membership and coaches. And so if you want to apply this short application, go to Rick Muller forward slash accelerator or feel free to just shoot me an email. We can chat through it. Rick at Rick Moretti dot com. All right, my friend, thank you as always for listening to today’s episode. I appreciate you. Until next time be well and I’ll chat with you soon.

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