Defining the Duties of the Members of the Senior Management Team

One of the most important ways that the CEO of an emerging company can impact how effectively the company and its organizational structure operates is through his or her selection of the members of the senior management team.  In addition to their functional skills and experience, senior managers can support the vision of the CEO by communicating and practicing the attitudes and values associated with the organizational culture preferred by the CEO.  In order to fulfill this role, senior managers must understand culture and organizational structure of the company and the thoughts and directions of the CEO and should have a clear idea of where the company is headed and be committed to that direction.


While recruiting and retaining high quality members for the senior management team is obviously important for the organization, development of job descriptions for senior managers is often neglected.  One reason this occurs is because senior managers often view job descriptions as to restrictive or static to be of much use.  Another concern that a senior manager might have about engaging in developing his or her own job description is that the end product might be used as the basis for a negative performance evaluation or a change in role and responsibilities that might be unacceptable to the manager.  Disadvantages aside, however, it is recommended that an effort be made to write job descriptions for top managers in order to define their specific tasks and objectives.  By preparing job descriptions for senior managers, and reviewing them periodically, the CEO can make sure that the responsibilities and objectives of the managers are properly aligned with each other and with the overall goals of the company.  In addition, job descriptions can provide a direction for each senior manager and a basis for establishing priorities that are mutually agreed upon by the manager and the CEO.  Finally, a job description for a senior management position that has yet to be filled can provide a basis for discussions with prospective candidates.  A job description for a member of the senior management team should focus on the tasks to be done; the goals to be achieved; the challenges to be overcome; and the organizational norms that are to be emphasized.  In addition, the job description should include a list of the information that will be needed in order to evaluate the performance of the manager in relation to the stated duties and responsibilities.

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