Amazing insights and riffs in the blogosphere right now about being a CEO.
Fred Wilson got it started and I think from a 10,000 foot perspective he nails it:
A CEO does only three things. Sets the overall vision and strategy of the company and communicates it to all stakeholders. Recruits, hires, and retains the very best talent for the company. Makes sure there is always enough cash in the bank.
The comments are equally awesome and if you aspire to lead, you need to spend the time reading it all.
You don’t have to be an Inbox-Zero nut, but you do need to make sure you don’t have people in the company chronically waiting on you before they can take their next actions on projects. Otherwise, you lose all the leverage you have in hiring a team.
Mark Suster adds to the meme with this beauty. I especially connected to this part:
Anybody who has worked with me knows that I have these “control freak” tendencies as I think many leaders do. We want quality, we trust our own instincts & judgments and we think that many people don’t live up to our standards. But we know that ultimately being effective is about finding those people that do. It often takes a while of experimentation and watching their results to start to trust them. But when they start to meet and exceed your expectations it’s magic. You’re suddenly free to focus your energies elsewhere.
Once you’ve been around for a few years, attracted some great people, landed real, paying customers and raised venture capital you’ve likely got a talented team around you. Almost definitionally very talented people will butt heads. It’s your job to give people enough space to flourish without conflict, resolve conflicts when they do occur, encourage your team members to perform at their best and set the culture by which they ultimately treat their colleagues and staff.
As a CEO of a venture backed business myself and founder of many others, I would add one thing…Thick Skin.
If you fail, you need to start all over. As you start to succeed, you will hear from people like me…’armchair quarterbacks’ . If you really succeed, everyone wants you to fail eventually so you need even thicker skin.
Feel free to add to this meme if you like.