I often think about Fred Wilson’s post about what a CEO does. At Wattpad, Allen Lau used to speak of it quite often too. In their words, the three jobs of a CEO are below (in brackets my comments on how they fit the system of impact model):
- Set the vision and strategy for the company, and making that clear to everyone (the goals for how products should be adopted in market, and what impact that should create as a whole).
- Hire the right people, and get out of their way (in the system, these are the individuals and teams that build the right product).
- Make sure there’s enough cash in the bank (this is not represented in the system in it’s current state, and probably should be).
There are no direct paths to any of the above. You cannot set a vision without having some sense of the core first principles or problems you’re trying to solve. This takes conversation, research and learning. You cannot hire the right people without truly understanding what it means to hire the wrong ones, and learning from it. You cannot keep your company well capitalized without understanding the impact that different sources of capital will have on your company. All of it is a difficult process but the journey is full of learning.