Mark Suster, a 2x entrepreneur turned VC, offers a good recount of what it takes to be a CEO in “My Life as a CEO (and VC): Chief Psychologist”.
Below are some good excerpts.
- Sets the overall vision and strategy of the company and communicates it to all stakeholders
- Recruits, hires, and retains the very best talent for the company.
- Makes sure there is always enough cash in the bank.
- Don’t be a bottleneck (make sure you aren’t holding up people’s work)
- Run great meetings (don’t be a productivity drain on the company)
- Stay fresh (be mentally and physically fit & attuned to what is going on in the world)
And a good parallel between life events and the life of a startup:
The funny thing about a startup is that if you keep it together for several years life happens along the way. We went through marriages, divorces, babies, deaths of close family members and even deeper issues like alcoholism. Along the way it was my job to play the role of sympathetic counsel, mediator or bad guy depending on the situation.It is such an under-discussed issue as we spend our time in startups mostly talking about products, marketing and fund raising. And business schools seem to also over emphasize the quantitative skills over the human ones. I guess the latter is harder to teach but I believe a bigger driver of success.