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A corporation is structured a lot like a theater: Some people spend the evening on the dance floor while others spend it in the balcony. The President works on the dance floor, where it’s his or her job to look tactically at the company’s everyday operations.
The CEO, meanwhile, works in the balcony, where it’s his or her job to look strategically at the company’s long-term goals and objectives. The CEO reports to the board of Directors; as President, meanwhile, you report to the CEO.
Think of it this way: The CEO leads; you, on the other hand, manage (unless, of course, your title is “President and CEO” — which it often is — in which case you do both!). It’s a subtle but important difference, particularly at large firms, where companies often have multiple Presidents — one in charge of each business unit or division.
Whether your company has one or several Presidents, it relies on you to function as a Chief Operating Officer (COO), which requires you to manage mid- and senior-level Managers, implement and execute company strategies, and evaluate lines of business. You also manage costs, budgets, and resources, and oversee business functions such as human resources, finance, and IT. In addition, you create company performance objectives, and represent the company to Lawmakers, the public, and the media.
In other words, you’re the ultimate corporate multitasker: In the simplest terms possible, it’s your job to grease the wheels, which you accomplish by keeping your finger on the pulse of absolutely everything your company does — ready to act in case it flatlines!