What a CEO Does

A CEO does these three things:

  1. Sets overall vision and strategy of the company and communicates it to all stakeholders.
  2. Recruits, hires, and retains the very best talent for the company.
  3. Makes sure there is always enough cash in the bank.

I love this and I love the simplicity of this list. You can read the post and the really helpful comments for some even other great insights.

Now, naturally a CEO’s specific role depends greatly on the rest of the leadership team and the stage of the company as the CEO of a publicly traded company has dramatically different responsibilities as the CEO of a bootstrapped startup.

But, I believe these elements are still secure and then smart and wise delegation makes sense to closely follow.

After having been the CEO for a few companies as well as not being a CEO but on the core leadership team I’ve realized a few things:

  • I’ve never really been a great CEO. I have a lot to learn and to grow. I’ve been placed there in that role because in many circumstances I was just the first person to the table, so to speak.
  • I’ve never really enjoyed the CEO role. Although I enjoy elements of it I do not enjoy much of it, especially the financial responsibilities that a really great CEO executes against.
  • Being the CEO is fucking hard. Consequently…
  • I’ve attempted to move out of the CEO as soon as I possibly can when I find a much better operator who aligns culturally and functionally. This is what I’ve done historically and it’s always felt a bit right. If I were ever to start a new company then this is what would most likely happen.
  • Finding great partners to work with is crucial to not only my own success but also, quite naturally, the success of the company. Working with great people is an uncompromisable part of how I operate professionally. I can never go back.

I am quite thankful to not be a CEO right now.