Evolving From Founder to Great CEO

Vote to see my session at SXSW 2015!

When can a founder be a good CEO? It’s an important question and the subject of my submission for next year’s South by Southwest conference. While not every founder is interested in becoming a full-time CEO, I believe anyone who is serious about it can learn the role with the right preparation and methodology.

Quick guide to CEO decision-making

Making decisions is such an integral part of the CEO role that I devoted an entire chapter of my upcoming book to it. For a quick cheat sheet to making good decisions, see my latest article in Entrepreneur: 10 Steps to Quality CEO Decision-Making

What are the responsibilities of a CEO?

I’ve covered this topic in depth on this blog, but if you want to read a quick summary check out my latest article for Entrepreneur: The 5 Core Responsibilities of a CEO As I mention in the article, it’s difficult to do the job well if you aren’t clear on what you are supposed to […]

Why CEOs have power but lack influence

Entrepreneur.com just published an article I wrote titled “How Leaders Can Find Their Mojo.” Whether they admit it or not, many chief executives feel powerless in their organizations. Oh sure, they have power: They can hire and fire, acquire companies, reorganize whole divisions, change the company strategy, etc. But once an organization gets beyond 20 […]

Proceed with caution when choosing private company board members

I have had some interesting conversations over the last few weeks that made me realize many people view the role of private company boards far differently than I do. This may be because many of the board members in these companies don’t have significant board experience. Often they have brought money to the table but […]

How CEOs Hire: Jeff Bezos on having an “explorer mentality”

Some companies, if you wanted to put it into a single word, they have a conqueror mentality, and we have an explorer mentality. And the people who like our mentality of exploration and pioneering, they tend to stay here, and have fun here, and that’s self-reinforcing. Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO, Amazon In the wake […]

Can having too much capital be a problem?

Have less funding than your competitors? Good!

I often talk with young entrepreneurs who are struggling to raise money to keep their startup going. They are typically high achievers who have never failed at anything in their life. I often joke that running out of money isn’t failing: Failing is raising $100 million and turning it into $0. The funny part about capital is that having too much can be a problem just like not having enough, as Seth Levine says in this blog post. There is an optimum amount of capital for pursuing a given market opportunity. If the market is still developing, then additional capital is often wasted – or even worse: It causes the company to lose focus and pursue many different markets. The CEO’s job is to provide the right amount of capital at the right time.  

When can a founder be a good CEO?

People often say that entrepreneurs who start out as CEO will need to be replaced at some point with a “professional” CEO. The thought is that the entrepreneur won’t be able to scale as the business grows. I think this is the wrong way to think about the situation. Yes, there are many entrepreneurs who […]