Wartime CEO / Peacetime CEO

in #startup3 years ago (edited)


With the state of the markets and the public health crisis right now, you have to ask yourself, "Are you a better peacetime CEO or wartime CEO?"

The Wartime CEO has to keep their company alive and their team employed, and will eradicate a speck of dust on a gnat’s ass if it interferes with that focus.

An idea from a post in 2011 by Ben Horowitz, the "Wartime CEO / Peacetime CEO" philosophy was expanded upon in his 2014 book, The Hard Thing About Hard ThingsThe Hard Thing About Hard Things.

Example wartime: Steve Jobs when he was reinstated as CEO of Apple when the company was weeks from bankruptcy.
Example peacetime: Google's rise to prominence and decade of innovation by allowing their employees to spend 20% of their time working on side projects, which led to Gmail, Adsense, and Google Talk.

This time around it's not just a markets crisis, but a public health crisis. Firing people at this point would leave many without healthcare when they need it the most. A lot of unnecessary company fluff will have to be axed no doubt, but the last of that should be firing people.

I personally think I make a better wartime CEO, as I work much better under intense pressure and when every initiative done by the company pushes us towards the same goal.



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