White Paper: So You Want to Be a CEO? Read This First

Cover Sheet - So You Want To Be A CEO? Read This First.


Phil Warner
FMI Corporation



While this white paper focuses on CEO responsibilities for HVAC/sheet metal firms, it also reviewed CEO functions in other construction industry firms. In reality there are few differences in the overall responsibilities or skills of CEOs within the industry. There are more differences in companies of different sizes and organizational structures.

In previous studies commissioned by the New Horizons Foundation, FMI and other organizations have studied topics such as exit strategies for companies in the HVAC/sheet metal industry, the future of the HVAC/sheet metal industry as well as topics on leadership, mentoring and coaching, training and productivity. All are relevant to anyone interested in the topic of the role of a CEO.

The focus of this paper is not how to hire a CEO or how to pass the baton on to the next generation. Although the paper touches on this topic, because it is an important role of the CEO, the goal in this paper is to present an overview of the role of the CEO not so much from a day-to-day viewpoint, but over the tenure of the CEO and/or president holding that office. To get a firsthand view of what a CEO does, should do and even what he or she should not do, the paper relays the experiences of three CEOs of top construction industry firms, including one of the largest engineering and construction firms on the Fortune 500 list.