The startup environment is defined by its warped sense of time. Budgets account for months rather than years, new hires forego formal training to hit the ground running and new strategies are evaluated on their ability to produce immediate results. Time is more valuable than ever in this accelerated work environment, making poor decisions all the more costly. When it comes to choosing a CEO to steer the ship, there is little leeway in the schedule for extended acclimation periods and few hours to spare to reverse the damage of ineffective leadership. In this post, we will identify some of the most crucial characteristics of a good startup CEO to help guide your hiring decision.
The ideal startup CEO can:
- Protect the company vision: Startups' emphasis on achieving immediate results can drive some companies to lose sight of their long-term goals. The CEO should assume responsibility for making sure each micro decision helps move toward the company's goals on a macro scale as well.
- Be the most resilient member of the team: Startups are often plagued by failure. In order to keep morale up even when the waters get choppy, the CEO has to be willing to take on an inordinate amount of stress — all the while continuing to make the tough decisions to right the ship.
- Take advice: The key to being a great CEO of a successful startup is not to be smarter than everyone in the company, but to know how to find and leverage exceptional talent. While it is important to be able to make strong hires in technical fields, it is another skill altogether to be able to let go and defer to the experts when working in their domains.
While finding the perfect candidate can be difficult, don't settle for someone you don't feel comfortable with. An executive recruiter can help you find candidates who not only have industry-specific experience, but are ready to jump into the startup environment.
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