Evolving from a Founder to CEO
I have now done the Founder-CEO role for over 16 years across 3 startups, including the venture-backed route. I was just 23 when I became a CEO, and therefore learnt the hard way: mistakes, wrong-turns, failures, frustrations and all of that.
Along the way, I have had a chance to meet 280+ CEOs (of all types, including the very large publicly-listed companies) — and I realized that to learn about the craft being a CEO, it is peer knowledge of other CEOs is absolutely vital in addition to working with coaches, reading books & blogs, and learning through experience.
But it’s not easy to have all these peer conversations with other CEOs – so these pages are the open-sourced collection of everything they have collectively said to me. Hopefully this helps you skip past making some of the mistakes I made while honing this craft of being a CEO.
If you don’t know where to start, then scroll down to the summary below – tl;dr
What is the CEO role about compared to the Founder?
Looking after the long-term health of the company by ensuring the right strategy is in place, making timely decisions and building a strong Executive Team.
How do you get better at decision-making? CEO vs Founder
In short, it requires logical thinking more than emotions and being ready to accept that a good decision might be the one that still creates some short-term pain (Detailed writeup coming soon, especially around topics like Type1/2 decisions and making the tough calls)
How do you build a good Executive Team?
Formalize the structure of this Executive Team, establish trust as the base amongst all members (this is their first team), limit = 6-8 members, and be ready think about rotating it as the company evolves. More detailed notes here
Reading List for CEOs
Each theme has my top 3 book picks & few other recommendations to read.
Evolution of the Board & Chairperson
CEO and Product Team (coming soon)
Communicating better as a CEO (coming soon)
CEO’s role in taking the company international (coming soon)
Notes for CEOs:
Building an Executive Team
Detailed notes and a collection of useful suggestions from talking to 280+ CEOs
Other posts coming soon.
Every Saturday, I set aside 2 hours to talk to first-time Founders to help them on their journey.
You can book a slot (it’s free!).