In some cases, the founder of a startup might see him or herself in the CEO role as well. In small companies especially, this could seem logical, as it keeps everything within the company, but not every founder will also make a good CEO. The two roles are fundamentally different, and founders who realize this may want an outside recruitment option to help find a person better fit for this position.
Writing for Ventureburn, Surekha James says that the case of how qualified a founder is to lead will vary for different companies. While she writes that some companies might be more geared for a CEO-founder to succeed, in the long run, there are many important management skills they will need that founders won't necessarily have any experience with already. These include delegating responsibilities and communicating with different departments.
Those founders who aren't suitable CEO material aren't admitting defeat by staying away from the chief executive position: they are leaving it to those who are more qualified. James encourages founders to recognize their limitations.
"Not every founder makes for a great CEO," she says, addressing founders directly. "And there is nothing wrong with accepting that. The journey from founder to CEO is lonely and tiring. And it involves learning an entirely different set of skills, some of which you may not be entirely comfortable with. If this is the case, then be humble and know your limitations. Step down for the benefit of the product you built."
It's easier for a founder to decide whether or not to place an outside CEO if he or she knows how to find one. Startups have executive search consultants as possible allies for those situations where the founder needs a new, externally-sourced executive.
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