When you start a company, you do every job in the business. As you add employees, you stop doing a few things yourself and hire others to do them.
For companies that grow big enough, your team members eventually do all of the day-to-day functions of the business. What does the founder and CEO do then?
It is often said there are three main jobs that the CEO can never delegate:
- Strategy – decide where the company is going and keep the focus on that
- Leaders – hire and fire the top leaders who hire and lead every employee
- Finances – make a valuable company for the owners and don’t run out of cash
In the end, the CEO is the one person ultimately responsible for setting strategy, hiring leaders, and ensuring financial success. The best CEOs get the most help in these areas from their leaders, advisors, and outside experts.
But there’s one additional job that founders who grow up to become CEOs can never delegate, especially in fast-growing and innovative businesses.
Founders are Chief Believer Officers.
Founders are the Chief Believer Officers for their growing company when they face life and death business challenges, scary shifts in strategy, and the normal doubts and dives of any business.
Every company faces hard times and fast-growing companies live closer to the edge than people realize. Founders say, “It will be OK. We’ll get through this. Don’t worry. Remember why we are here!”
Founders are the Chief Believer Officer for their new product or service when they have created something new that their market still doesn’t understand or request yet. Every new thing or idea that is popular now didn’t exist at some point in the past.
In the early days, there was always a crazy believer-in-chief who envisioned, evangelized and catalyzed the movement to change the world. These founders transferred their passionate belief to others when they recruited employees, sold their first customers, and enlisted partners to believe it too.
This is much harder than it looks. Humans resist change. We don’t want your newfangled product or contrarian idea. Most big new ideas don’t make it.
Show me a new thing that is common now that didn’t exist before, and I’ll show you there was a “crazy” founder who was the Chief Believer Officer in the beginning when it wasn’t obvious or easy. Now we can’t live without their product or services.
Crazy entrepreneurs who embrace their role as Chief Believer Officers create the world that we live in.