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Are You Sure That You’re the Right CEO for Your Business?

Are you sure that you’re the right CEO for your business? That’s right, maybe it’s time to hang up the boots and move on. 

When was the last time you asked yourself this big question? Am I truly the right leader for my business at its current stage? It’s a question that I’ve asked myself a number of times over the years – and also a question that (not for the first time) I asked another CEO of their own position last week.

I wasn’t trying to be provocative, only to reframe an issue that this particular CEO was having and help lift them above the noise. 

It should be fairly evident that throughout the evolution of a startup or scale-up, the demands of leadership can shift dramatically. In the early days, a CEO might heavily focus on ideation, pitching, securing crucial initial rounds of funding – the sorts of activities that require immense creativity, resilience, and a persuasive knack for storytelling. However, as a business begins to mature, the focus may swing towards scaling operations, managing a growing team, and navigating market dynamics. Here, strategic vision, operational expertise, and a deep understanding of organisational culture are the ‘in need’ skills.

But beyond that, being brave enough to ask yourself this question is, in my opinion, an incredibly healthy way to indintify gaps in your company’s needs. For instance, if you’re a killer startup CEO who isn’t ready to hand over the reins, it might be time to bring in a COO to complement your skills and share the load? Or perhaps strategic mentorship could transform your understanding and approach to the market (I talk about finding the right mentor in another recent post here: “The importance of mentorship as a leader”).

So remember, asking “Am I the right CEO?” is not about doubting your capabilities but rather ensuring that your capabilities continue to align with the company’s needs. This alignment is crucial not just for your company’s success, but for your personal fulfilment and growth as a leader. Every stage of your company’s growth offers a unique learning curve and an opportunity to redefine your leadership. I say embrace it, and you may find that the journey of growth becomes less about whether you fit the role and more about how you grow into it each day.