In all the companies I founded and invested in, one thing was always clear about leading a startup — it’s hard. Really hard.
Most Founders won’t come to their startups with years of leadership experience. Yet I’ve seen firsthand that there is a direct link between a Founder’s leadership skills and the outcome of their startup.
The first step in developing your leadership skills is to understand that as a startup CEO, you have two different tasks that may seem like one but are actually different – being a manager and being a leader. And you must excel at both to succeed.
The CEO as Manager
For years now, as I’ve served as a CEO in multiple companies, I kept asking myself what the simplest way to understand the CEO’s role is. I’ve come to the conclusion that, at the end of the day, the CEO role as manager can be represented by a cycle with five stages.