I was having a conversation with an entrepreneur I work with the other day. He is convinced he needed a CEO for his company. I asked him why and what the CEO would do. It quickly became apparent he did not know what the CEO role is. I use the word Role for a reason. When a company is starting out or in the early growth stages, it is very likely you will not have a unique person for each role in the company. Rather than thinking about the people you need, I suggest you think about the roles there are and what that role must achieve. Many of my clients need a CFO role and a book keeping role but do not have an employee for either. They outsource those roles to external parties.
Getting back to the CEO role, I read a great post a while back on the role of the CEO. Here is the summary:
A CEO does only three things. Sets the overall vision and strategy of the company and communicates it to all stakeholders. Recruits, hires, and retains the very best talent for the company. Makes sure there is always enough cash in the bank.
A pretty straight forward list. Now think about what is not on the list. Running the business day to day. Managing the team. Calling customers. Working with vendors. You get the idea.
By defining roles, the process of deciding what people to hire becomes easier in a start-up. As the business grows and the people in place cannot continue to fill all the roles, a decision can be made about what roles can be outsourced, and what ones need to be filled with employees. Further, as you interview new people, you can look at each candidate’s ability to fill multiple roles.
What roles will the next hire in your company fill? Can they fill others if need be?