If you ask me the toughest thing about being a CEO, I would think it would be the fact that the lives of so many people are at the mercy of your decisions. You do have to make some tough decisions sometimes. It could harm someone while benefiting someone else. Let us see what these entrepreneurs say about the hardest things they have to do as CEOs.
Arun Raaj, Founder and CEO of ORENDA Social Enterprise, believes there are three difficult things about being a CEO:
- The hardest and the most important thing for a CEO is building an effective team, because this decides the future of the company. As the business gets bigger, a CEO needs to make sure that an A player he has hired is hiring an A+ player for the business to remain prosperous. Plus, the team is also going to decide the culture of the company, so the important thing for every CEO is building an effective team.
- Balance: A CEO needs to make sure he balances and external issues. Most importantly, a CEO needs to make sure his business and family life are two distinct entities. After all, you can treat the company like family but you cannot treat the family like a company, so balance is the key.
- Patience: A CEO must master the art of patience because a business opportunity could also mean "gambling with the company's reputation." A CEO needs to grab the right opportunity at the right time by taking calculated risks. Being patient is tough but the key in the game of being a leader.
ORENDA is a social enterprise that provides entrepreneurship training, soft skills, and personality development training. Link
We introduce you to Bharat Sethi, CEO and Co-founder of iDecorama, a tech platform engineered to take the building, designing, and remodelling industry online. His previous startup, Postergully.com, was sold to ABEC promoters in 2016. Link
“The most challenging thing for me has been to prioritise every day and get all stakeholders aligned to the startup’s long-term mission. There are always a million things I could be doing as a CEO, including selling, motivating, setting strategy, product, finances. But figuring out what is worth my time and taking that decision not knowing the end outcome is tough. Sometimes you have to convince everybody involved when you’re not convinced yourself. CEOs don’t have any rules, scripts, or a playbook, which is great but also leads to a lot of frustration, disappointment, irritation, and decision fatigue when things don’t go well,” says Bharat on the hardest thing about being a CEO.
Ankit Dudhwewala, Co-founder of SoftwareSuggest.com (Link)
and CallHippo.com has this to say about the tough things CEOs should handle: “Finding the right people is the toughest. Out of the 40 people that I have employed, I have two–three good guys and the entire business is on them. If we can find the right person, we can grow much faster. In fact, one of the biggest reasons for taking funds is to spend on the right team members.”
Apart from the reasons listed by these three entrepreneurs, there are a gazillion others making the job of a CEO super difficult. A CEO can only grow the company to a specific limit—the rest depends on the employees, and even here the CEO has a role to play. All our lives we’ve had people whom we could go to for advice. When you are the CEO, you become the guy people come to. It’s a huge responsibility that brings with it perks and difficulties in equal measure.
Read also: Ways to be a transformative leader.