The CEO of a start-up is not just a CEO

Have you ever seen your CEO or owner walking to the delivery boy on the office door to receive the pizza and bring it back to his hard working team to gather them around for a pizza break? Have you ever seen your CEO walking towards his employees giving each of them hi-fis even on the smallest achievement? If yes, then you are working with the most amazing leader who has a vision to grow his idea into a business.

It is true, most of the CEOs of big organizations don’t even know half of their employees by face, leave apart knowing them by name or knowing personally. No doubt they have bigger responsibilities to handle that keep them away from constant touch with their employees. Such bigger organizations have functional specialists handling different aspects of managing the company.

However in a start-up a CEO is not just a CEO. To start with, he is responsible for visualizing and framing the idea of the business. He must have the eyes of a recruiter or human resource manager to select the potential employees or resources to kick start his idea. He must show the analytical ability of a Finance Manager to arrange the money, allocate the budget and keep a flawless track as to when and where that money is flowing to. He must also show the enthusiasm to go out on the streets, talk to people and make the first sale even before his employees do. In short the CEO of a start-up must come out as a leader who knows the path, walks on it and shows others how to walk on that path.

But why is it so important in a start-up culture? When you own a start-up you are limited on money and resources. Be it a product based or a service based company it is not possible always to have expert people handling different functions like marketing, finance, human resources, operations etc. It is important for the CEO to step out of his cabin and sit with the employees, work with them, listen to them and find out the gaps in the working of the business. Only this way he shall be able to analyze which functions require a specialist manager, for which he can hire a functional expert. But for the remaining functions he should be ready to step into the specialist managers’ role. For that matter he should be open to work as a staff boy too. If it is hard to digest, then look back at your manpower budget and financials and work out whether it is worth hiring people who are not going to add value to your business at present.

Apart from that, this is a very valuable organization culture an owner of the start-up can create for his employees. It is important for the employees to understand that when you are working in a start-up you are hired not just to display the capability you have but also to dirty your hands for other tasks lying idle on the table. It does not mean you should poke around into the work of others. But this is an added opportunity for you to do multi-tasking in your job and handle tasks not allocated to a specific employee.

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