While previous work history is absolutely important when considering who to hire for your company's startup CEO, this position can also be an opportunity for an executive to improve during the course of his or her time in the role. Though this is less quantifiable than the accomplishments someone has in his or her past, management recruitment efforts can still anticipate the sort of ways a c-level professional may have to change after he or she has been hired.
One of the most obvious ways that CEOs may be challenged to change while running a startup is through the technology they use. Experienced executives may have their own preferences for operating systems and analytics they use to monitor important data, but the best options for this can change over time. Successful startup CEOs should learn to evolve their approach to tools like online dashboards that harness the best available resources. In technology, however, many founder-CEOs come from engineering anyway.
A Forbes article recently used Tackk CEO Kyle Stalzer's response to a Quora question about what being a CEO "feels like" in a startup company. He emphasized the importance of looking at the big picture, something that comes naturally with the territory.
"As a startup CEO, inputs are dynamic and your decisions need to be calculated because they affect other people, plans and tactics," Stalzer writes. "This is the most important skill because as your life advances, decisions become more dynamic."
On the other hand, there are cases where early stage founders realize they do need experience at some point (like the Google Co-Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who brought in Eric Schmidt – at least for a few years).
Using a responsive and diligent executive search firm, you can find executives ready to lead your startup company for the long haul, and know that they will change to meet all of the challenges along the way.
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