This past March at SXSW I gave a presentation on “Evolving from Founder to Great CEO” to a packed room of entrepreneurs, CEOs, and founders. We videotaped it and edited it into digestible chunks. I have embedded three of the videos below (also available for viewing on Vimeo). Based in part on my book “The CEO Tightrope,” I discussed why I believe the CEO role can be learned and that in most companies the founder is the best person to lead the company to greatness. While geared towards founders, the content is a good reminder to all CEOs of what their responsibilities are and how to succeed in the role.
Here are all three videos with descriptions of each (more to follow):
Video #1: Stages of a Company and CEO Responsibilities (15 minutes): Here I describe the five stages of a company and when a full-time CEO role really begins. In addition, I explain the five unique responsibilities of a CEO with some advice and anecdotes about what a CEO should NOT be doing.
Video #2: Six Hats and CEO Failures (12 minutes): Once CEOs understand what their responsibilities are, how should they spend their time on a daily basis? I received the most questions about this after my presentation. The answer of course depends on your specific situation and company stage, but the six hats or roles of the CEO, which I outline in the video, provide a general guideline. For more information on this, see Six Hats of the CEO: The Highest Value Roles. I also discuss various CEO failure modes in this video.
Video #3: CEO Responsibility and Control (4 minutes): Everyone in the CEO chair (or preparing for it) needs to come to terms with this inherent truth about the job: They have limited control in the organization but total responsibility for outcomes. Those who balance this dichotomy well have a better chance of succeeding. See also CEO Failure Modes: Balancing Total Responsibility with Limited Control.