A business enterprise provides individuals a mechanism to achieve business goals that could not be completed by an lone individual. An organization's executive director, also referred to as a managing director or a chief executive officer, serves as its central leader. The executive director is expected to deliver strong leadership and develop sound business strategies for a company. The executive contributes to a company's success by nurturing and inspiring talent and translating business goals into action.
An executive director's fiduciary responsibilities are similar to those of members of a board of directors. In the U.S., these duties may be shaped by both state and federal laws. This oversight and monitoring function over a company's activities aim to uncover weaknesses or problems in business operations and processes that may result in the company not fulfilling legal compliance requirements.
Executives aim to achieve sustainable competitive advantage. Review and development of a company's short- and long-term strategic business goals is part of an executive director's duties. Strategic goals may include objectives, such as increasing visibility for a particular project or product. This requires continuous strategic planning including developing goals, alternatives and milestones.
Executives who do not know where they are going and why cannot be expected to deliver optimal performance. An executive director develops a vision statement to formally and concisely articulate the company's direction. For instance, Avon Products, Inc.'s vision statement is, “To be the company that best understands and satisfies the product, service and self-fulfillment needs of women, globally.”
Goals articulate general program or project outcome desires, while objectives are more defined. Specific objectives are designed to contribute to fulfilling general goals. "Long-range planning is extremely important because goals are benchmarks,' says Edward Tobiasson, executive director of the Newark Minority Business Development Center in "Black Enterprise." Executive director's goal setting should integrate a company's vision into proactive business goals and objectives.
Executive directors ensure that the communication systems in a company operate efficiently. This includes both formal and informal communications, such as annual reports and corporate communications to management and the media. This meets external reporting requirements and keeps internal teams who need to know an organization's objectives and goals in the loop.
- Mind Tools: Mission Statements and Vision Statements
- "The Function of the Executive"; Chester I. Barnard, et al.; 1968
- Heritage Institute: Corporate Governance Issues Arising from Corporate Governance Scandals
- "Black Enterprise"; In it for the Long Haul; Wendy M. Beech; March 1998
- "Strategic Development: Methods and Models"; Robert G. Dyson, et al.; 1998
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