The typical CEO’s main duty is to direct an organization toward maximum profit within boundaries defined by both the CEO and the company’s investors. Because the investors chose this specific CEO to be their company’s chief decision maker, it is known that a) the investors believe in the CEO’s managerial abilities and b) the CEO is personally accountable to the investors regarding the company’s progress and profitability. Therefore, regarding the typical CEO and investor relationship, it is difficult to assess if the CEO is in the position of ‘wise sage’ or ‘little bitch.’
In the office, the typical CEO assumes the sage-like demeanor, only in this situation the CEO is much less accountable regarding clarity and logical cohesion. Unlike in the CEO’s interactions with investors, the CEO in the office environment is free to be as incomprehensible and non-specific as he or she pleases. As such, the CEO is allowed free reign throughout the office to go on massive diatribes and personal mini-lectures hinging upon abstract and vague concepts such as “the culture of initiative” and “getting the ball rolling,” all of which are somehow concrete ‘directives’ yet consistently leave you with absolutely no idea about what to do next. The CEO in general speaks in a candid manner in his or her office environment, sometimes doing “zany” things for unknown – and possibly sinister – effect, or, in times of extreme stress, employing the word “fuck” or some derivative thereof.
The typical CEO’s behavior in meeting settings is – while remaining candid and genuine – a combination of bullish superiority, grandfatherly love and disturbing aloofness. Wielding the power to strike you and your idea to your knees in almost unbearable humiliation, the CEO can make or break you and often implicitly defines and redefines hierarchical status on a day-to-day (even hour-by-hour) basis. In any case, the CEO is the consistent reference point in any meeting he or she attends; everyone in the room constantly checks their statements and claims with the CEO for dis/approval via furtive eye glances or implicit queries.
The typical CEO, as evidenced by his or her sage-like attitude, actually does ascribe to seemingly mystical ideas and aspires for his or her company to be like those companies in the same field who have met with greater success, who he or she treats as gods. Indeed, the CEO’s demeanor to those companies more successful than his or hers is an almost childish worship. Therefore, it is difficult to say if the CEO in this situation is really endearing or extremely pathetic. Regardless, the CEO is likely to consistently bring up competitor practices in meetings with a tone similar to a tone one would expect to take describing a utopian society just out of reach, or a real-life fountain of youth just five minutes away.
As does any office member, the typical CEO is subject to office birthday celebrations and group lunches. Rarely, though, does the CEO partake full-heartedly in any of these events; instead he or she is on the phone, or talking to his or her CTO, or has restrictive dietary practices which prevent him or her from enjoying whatever buffet on which everyone else is binge eating. Occasionally, though, the CEO will befriend you at an extra-curricular activity such as Thai or sushi, and for that hour you are the golden boy. The chosen one. Of course, it is in your best interest to use that time to convince the CEO that you’re just as sage-like as him or her; that the CEO may not understand you, but you are indeed intelligent and full of untold discoveries just waiting to take your company to a multi-million dollar acquisition.
The typical CEO of course has a private life. The CEO’s significant other is homely and altogether uncomfortable and unfamiliar and sort of alien. The CEO has children, which implicitly/ by association have already beaten you, and when the CEO brings his or her children to the office, a sort of resentment is felt toward the children, as well as a sort of office-wide humiliation and self-shaming. This is indeed the same situation with the CEO’s dog, whom he or she sometimes brings in the office to run around and be cute and sort of annoy everyone. In fact, every member of the CEO’s family has beaten you implicitly/ by association, and so when you are forced to have an anxiety inducing one-on-one meeting with the CEO, you are not only confronted with his superiority but, via family photos on his desk and walls, the entire teeming tribe of his family’s superiority, all grinning down on you, assessing your quarterly progress and uttering office-speak so dense and unfiltered you begin to believe you’ve somehow teleported into a different dimension entirely.