The architect is the third hat in my series on the six roles of the CEO. Jim Schleckser, CEO and managing partner of the Inc. CEO Project, created the five hats of CEOs (stay tuned for my own contribution) and says the architect is one of the most important roles. It’s all about business model design, and, according to Jim: “If you get the business model right, your life is easy. If you get the business model wrong, your life is hard.”
When wearing the architect hat you are working on the strategy of your business. You are focused on your product and market, answering questions such as: Who is the customer? What problem are we solving? How do we make money? In the early stages of a business or when introducing a new product, you will need to spend large amounts of time in the architect role. Getting this role right is so important that you must make time for it on a regular basis.
Even in a business with a well-established strategy, I would still reserve at a minimum one full day every quarter to review and think about strategy. At other times when things are changing rapidly, the right answer may be to spend time every day in this role. If you make good decisions in this area, everything else becomes a little easier.
Jim explains more about the architect hat in this short video:
In my next post, I’ll cover the engineer hat.