I found this definition when Googling “what's the difference between a CEO and President?”
In corporate management structures, the CEO is the highest ranking officer and visionary, while the president is more responsible for day-to-day management decisions and strategies. In simple terms, the CEO makes a promise to the company, setting a long-term vision.
That’s not quite how I see it.
An organization’s President and CEO are thought partners and collaborators. It makes no sense to have a vision that cannot be fully vetted for risk. And it makes no sense to not look up across the horizon, and imagine the world you want to live in. The president, not the CEO, does whatever it takes to make it happen, and to navigate a course that gets us to our destination.
So why am I sharing this with you?
Today, I am announcing that in addition to her COO title, Heather has been named as the President of PartnerHero, thus becoming a corporate officer and signatory. She will be representing our company from a legal perspective, in addition to her operational stewardship. She earned this title and responsibility by consistently doing the right thing, for our people, our partners, and our business.
In promoting her into this role, I am also relinquishing my own authority in certain areas. I think this is important for a few reasons.
First, the title needs to have teeth. The president of a company must have the authority to operate and execute independently as needed. There is no one who knows our business better than Heather, nor anyone more capable of making well-informed, action-oriented, difficult, and balanced business decisions.
Second, we talk about manifesting trust, and being humble. Humility, for me at least, is recognizing when someone has strengths I lack. There’s an inside joke about how I sometimes run PartnerHero like it’s “Shervin, Inc.” In the places where that has been true, my introspection has led me to the conclusion that it all has to do with ego and fear. So, this move is not only about honoring Heather’s hard work; it is also a step in my continual journey away from ego/fear toward the promised land of humility/trust. And there is no one I trust more to be a steward of our company’s future than Heather.
So this act is as much about my own needs as it is about the company’s.
Please join me in celebrating this important milestone for PartnerHero and for our President & COO, Heather Casey!