How does it feel to be a CEO?
It’s not what you’d think.
- A power trip. Well, it can be a power trip in some sense I guess, but not if you are doing it right. Oh, you are CEO of a 4 person startup? The glory!
- More fun that a non-CEO role. It’s much, much more stressful however. The buck truly stops with you.
- More rewarding than working for a great boss. Not necessarily. Working for a great boss can be just as rewarding, without quit as much stress.
- More lucrative that other options. Being a COO or other #2 can, risk-adjusted, be a better deal. You still get a lot of equity and don’t have to take the risk of getting something off the ground.
But the benefits are unique and include:
- You get to implement your vision, at least the % you can with your team. You never really get to build exactly what you want (unless you write all the code yourself). But defining and executing the vision is all consuming and intellectually challenging.
- You are never bored. All other roles, you will be bored sometimes. But as CEO, your mind will always be working.
- You get to pick your team. Recruiting is tough, but the benefit is you get to truly pick who you work with.
- You get to meet great people. Other great CEOs, founders, VCs, executives and more.
- Maximum creativity. Again, you don’t really get to do exactly what you want. But being a CEO is a maximum opportunity to be creative in a business and product sense.
It’s not that glamorous, usually.
But it is unique.
What keeps CEOs up at night? Shareholders, competition, the next big thing? Sure, but there are many other challenges. Modern CEOs are also thinking about how to build inclusive workforces, how their companies will positively impact the world, or what societal issues to advocate for.