Intro to the Role and Responsibilities of the CEO at a Startup
- What A CEO Does
While a CEO can do more than these, Fred identifies 3 skills a CEO must do well: 1) Set the overall vision and strategy of the company, and communicate it to all stakeholders 2) Hire and retain the best talent 3) Make sure there is always enough cash in the bank
Strategy, Culture, and Alignment for CEOs
- What Makes a Strong Startup CEO
Gigi breaks down the role of a CEO in a 5-step cycle that is repeated constantly: 1. Defining a strategy — setting the vector (direction) for your company. 2. Recruiting the right team that is best positioned to execute the strategy. 3. Setting goals that steer your team in the right direction and then letting them “run”. 4. Assisting where needed when your team runs into challenges; or, where the goals show they are off course, setting them back on track. 5. Monitoring progress and periodically reassessing the two initial building blocks – your strategy and your team – to make sure they still make sense. And having the perseverance to adjust accordingly & begin the cycle again.
- You Aren’t Born Knowing How to Be a CEO
Brett shares his tips for what a CEO does (not just a founder): 1. Carry the Torch for Long-Term Vision 2. Embrace Vulnerability 3. Disseminate Culture from the Top 4. Constantly Learn & Self-Reflect 5. Recruiting Should Be a Top Priority (No, Really) 6. Create Alignment
- What’s the Second Job of a Startup CEO?
Ali describes the high-level phases a CEO goes through: 1. Doer-in-chief: Get deeply involved in product and go-to-market, make sure the company gets to PMF. From 1 - 25 employees 2. Company-Builder-in-Chief: Delegate and lead an executive team 3. Invest in new lines of business: Starting at 500 headcount, figure out what happens next for the company, including investing in new product lines. What are the 3 tasks a CEO can't delegate in Phase 2? 1. Hiring a Leadership Team and Making Sure They Work Well Together 2. Creating Purpose and Alignment 3. Nurturing Company Culture
Communications Skills for CEOs
- The CEO’s most important operational responsibility
Gokul begins by quoting Ben Horowitz: “Perhaps the CEO’s most important operational responsibility is designing and implementing the communication architecture for her company.” He goes on to cover: • Why communication architecture matters • Evergreen communication choices • Communication choices with a daily, weekly or fortnightly cadence • Communication choices with a monthly, quarterly or annual cadence