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In the last week or so the question ‘what is the role of a CEO of a company’ was raised with 2 different startups that I am working with. I struggled with the answer for a while but eventually I think I figured it out: The main role of a CEO is to make sure that the company is moving forward according to plan. That means that the CEO takes upon him/herself the responsibility of pulling the company forward by releasing blocks and barriers for progress and motivating the team to move forward.

Essentially, everything else can be delegated including planning and strategy, finance, legal, marketing, operations and just about anything. The one thing that a CEO cannot delegate is the responsibility to move forward and reach major milestones. 

So I think that if you are really good at moving things forward through people, then you can be a great CEO. Anything else you can do is just icing. What do you think?