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Business Executive

Although they have a wide range of titles – chief executive officer, chief operating officer, general manager, president, administrator, etc. – all top executives direct the overall operations of businesses, corporations, and nonprofit institutions (or in the case of larger companies, a particular branch of the organization). The chief executive officer sets goals, policies, and budgets in collaboration with other executives that are closely monitored by a board of directors.

The nature of the responsibilities of high-level executives depends on an organization’s size. In small organizations, such as independent retail stores or small manufacturers, a partner, an owner, or a general manager often is responsible for purchasing, hiring, training, quality control, and day-to-day supervisory duties. On the other hand, top executives of large organizations typically have numerous support staff.

Although they may enjoy spacious offices and flexible schedules, business executives often have to put in long hours including evenings and weekends. They may also travel considerably among local, regional, national, and international offices or to attend meetings and conferences sponsored by various associations.

Top executives are under intense pressure to succeed. Depending on the organization, success may mean earning higher profits, providing better service, or attaining fundraising and charitable goals. Executives in charge of poorly performing organizations or departments usually find their jobs in jeopardy.

Entrepreneurs are business-minded individuals who start a new enterprise and assume the risk for it. As the owner/manager of their own company, their duties and responsibilities include formulating policies, managing daily operations, and planning the use of materials and human resources. Like a top executive, the entrepreneur is ultimately accountable for the success or failure of the business.

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