I was connecting with one of the TechStars companies recently. We were brainstorming about team dynamics and the dozens of Mentor pitches each company is doing right now in a compressed period. It is an intense time.
“The CEO job is the loneliest,” I said.
You see, you’re the firewall between the management team and the external world most of the time. Other team members interact, but the CEO is the point person. If you imagine an hour glass, the CEO is that narrow channel in the middle, between the team and the outside world. And grains of sand from above steadily come down on the team: more things to do, more priorities to shuffle.
It’s tough to be CEO. You can’t always run to your team with every one of your immediate thoughts, concerns and fears. You can’t always call your Board members and investors the minute a problem happens, as you probably first want to come up with an assessment and a proposed solution.
So, you have to self-regulate. It can be lonely.
But, it is also a great opportunity to lead and develop mental toughness. You’re a start-up CEO. If it works, you get more credit than you deserve. If the company fails, you have no one else to blame.
I think it is one of the best jobs to have.