I firmly believe that a company founder can become a great CEO with the right knowledge and skills. This is the topic of my upcoming presentation at SXSW on Friday, March 13: http://schedule.sxsw.com/2015/events/event_IAP37234
The transition from founder to CEO typically starts at 20 to 30 people and by 50 employees there is a distinct full-time CEO role. Prior to 20 employees, the founder’s job is more like a product manager who is developing an initial product and trying to generate some revenue. A full-time CEO role starts when there is a complete organization with all the major functions in place.
Here are the details for both my session in March and my proposed session for SXSW Las Vegas (The last day to vote is tomorrow: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/44283).
Evolving From Founder to Great CEO
Must founding CEOs eventually be replaced by a professional CEO for companies to reach their full potential? This is the conventional wisdom in the startup community. The idea is that the qualities that lead someone to be an entrepreneur are not conducive to the corner office. But if this is true, how do we explain Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg – all founders who became CEOs and led their companies to greatness? I believe that the CEO role can be learned, and that in most cases the founding entrepreneur is the best person to lead the company to greatness. While many startups fail, the CEO should not be the cause if they learn the key responsibilities of this critical role. This two hour long workshop will provide a methodology for the CEO job that any entrepreneur can adopt.
Questions I will answer:
– When does a full-time CEO role begin vs. a founder trying to get a start-up off the ground?
– How can you make the transition into an effective CEO?
– What are the responsibilities of a CEO?
– What qualities does a CEO need to possess to succeed?
– What systems and processes does a full-time CEO need to run a company?
Of course, I give a lot of advice on how to become an effective CEO in my book “The CEO Tightrope.”