Within that extremely limited framework many variations have emerged over the last decade in actual Corporation management style. Small groups of friends sharing power, democratic votes, committee shares, role-players, yadda yadda on and on, probably just about every way you can think to govern - someone has tried it.
But surely the most prevalent and most popular CEO style in Eve is the Dictatorship. Supported by a Board of Directors or not, orders come from a single source. Mandates arrive from on high. Direction is pointed at and it is expected that others will follow. Individual styles vary in the execution of ultimate power of course, some dictators tend to be better than others. Some more ego-centric, others more inclusive, and some just down right driven by near madness.
Over the years I've served under them all. From the "buddy" Dictator to the "AFK" Dictator who rarely appears in the actual game. And everything in-between. It all comes down to the individual in charge, their personality, confidence, experience and mental issues. Or social maturity.
Typically the CEO has a dream, a vision, or an idea about how he sees the world of Eve and how others should see it. He ( or she, I'm not trying to be sexist here ) wants others to help him achieve this idea of his. Mining rocks, building stuff, invading or gaining territory, blowing up other people, whatever it might be.
And this is where the Cult of Personality comes into play. You either have "game" or you don't. Let's not sugar coat it, you get three total strangers to join your Corp or you get three thousand to do it, the personality of the Boss is ultimately the reason why it happens. Why else? There are literally hundreds and hundreds of other Corporations to choose from? Why you?
I've had great CEO bosses and I've had not-so-good CEO bosses, but I have to be honest here - I've never had a terrible CEO. ( Not counting that Corp I was in once for less than a day, I never got to know that CEO ) Maybe I've been lucky, but I have learned a lot from the people I served under or with over the years.
The best CEO I ever served with was easily LJB, the CEO of one of Eve's longest running Corporations - Dissonance Corp [DION]. ( Founded in October, 2003 ) Not surprisingly LJB is a real-world politician type person and a truly nice person. I spent a lot of the first half of my Eve career in Dissonance and I learned a lot about how to run a successful Corporation from my good friend.
But I've learned something from all of them. A piece here, a style there, and all of it jumbles up and messes around in my head. But I've also learned a lot from my own failures, more than anything else, failure is a powerful teacher. Stay Frosty is the fourth Corporation that I've started since I began playing Eve. You learn a lot by living thru that, the school of Hard Knocks is a brutal one in this game of ours.
I'm not a Dictator. My grand scheme doesn't involve climbing a ladder, forcing our will on others, taking new ground, expanding ideology, or anything more than ensuring the successful propagation and continuation of a very specific play-style. A play-style which I personally happen to be enamored with and believe to be particularly awesome.
That is my own flag. And I've planted it as securely as possible in our corner of Eve. I listen to my members, I encourage everyone to have an opinion and to feel empowered to take on any responsibility that they feel is important to them. Ultimately my "job" isn't to dictate one thing or another, but to steer the ship on a steady course. To keep the forces of elitism away from our doors, to guard against the forces allied against us and to beat the drums about how awesome each and every pilot in our Corporation is.
I'm more of a Steward Cheerleader than Dictator.
That just happens to be my style.
PS: Stay Frosty now has an actual recruitment thread up and running on the Eve Forums!