Ben Horowitz published a short but powerful post about the mindset of a founder / CEO.
On how being a founder means your temperament is tied to company ups and downs:
When you found a company, it tends to get wired into your nervous system. I used to become physically ill whenever there was something wrong in the company — even if I didn’t know what it was. Even if I couldn’t see it, I could feel it. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling. Most good founder/CEOs that I know have this same, gnarly experience. Unfortunately, feeling it turns out to be the easy part of the job.
On that dreaded feeling that only a CEO can truly internalize:
Your last round’s valuation was high and valuations have fallen. Your topline growth is a bit lower than expected and your spend rate is as planned. You can feel that’s going to be a big problem. Do you intellectualize it away? “We’ve got a great new product release coming and we’ve gotten great press lately. We can make it up this quarter” or do you run towards the terrifying situation and try to figure it out now?
On what seperates the good from the bad:
Which way you run is often the key differentiator between effective and ineffective CEOs. Almost all CEOs know where the problems are, but only the truly elite ones run towards the fear.
Required reading. Check it out here.