Being a CEO quotes
According to Ben Horowitz, being a CEO is about courage. The loneliness of decision making requires even more courage to the CEO. Despite not having done it myself, I’ve had the privilege of supporting my partner in the task. Most of the times it’s been more about strengthening a decision than providing intelectual input. Criticising a CEO’s decision is like being the opposition party in a government: your opinions don’t carry the weight of governance. Seeing a CEO work during wartime is a humbling and rich experience; I’m sure the following authors will convey the message much better than I can.
80% of success in life is showing up — Woody Alen
The struggle is where greatness comes from — Ben Horowitz
It’s the moments where you feel like hiding and dying that you can make the biggest difference as a CEO — Ben Horowitz
Successful CEOs will attribute success to not quitting. Mediocre CEOs point on their brilliant strategic moves or their intuitive business sense, or a variety of other self congratulatory explanations — Ben Horowitz
Good judgement comes from experience, which comes from bad judgement — Charlie Munger (also heard Dr Kerr L White)
There are thee types of men. Some learn by reading. Some learn by observing. The rest of us must pee on the electric fence to learn for ourselves — Will Rogers, (apparently former officer of the US Navi, but I’m not sure this is right)
Knowing what you don’t know is more useful than being brilliant. Real knowledge is knowing the extent of your ignorance — Charlie Munger
What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know. It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so — Mark Twain
The single most important thing an entrepreneur needs to learn is who they take advice from and on what topic — Vinod Khosla, Khosla Ventures
See sins of omission in the management quotes post.
The fox knows many things; the hedgehog knows one big thing — Ho Nam, Altos Ventures
Ho Nam explains that mercenary CEOs tend to be more like foxes: well trained, charming and know a lot of things. Missionary CEOs, which Altos Ventures bets on, tend to be more like hedgehogs and know one big thing.
Wartime CEO is too busy fighting the enemy to read management books written by consultants who have never managed a fruit stand — Satire by Ben Horowitz
One can read many books, but peeing in the electric fence is more effective for most of us… maybe not consultants though. I love how Ben Horowitz points at what consultants should do before giving advice and writing books.
Sometimes an organisation doesn’t need a solution. It just needs clarity — Ben Hrowoitz
It’s your job as a leader to play defence, not offence — Eric Schmidt
Don’t be concerned of having to repeat your vision a million times to your team and board. Thats your job, 50% of your time will be doing just that.
Have a mad vision, and you’re a kook. Get a crowd to believe in it as well, and you’re a leader— Antonio García Martínez
Sometimes, the difference between apparent craziness and success is having followers.
Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men— Harry Day
Think for yourself. This is the distinguishing characteristic of an entrepreneur .— Ben Horowitz
In my experience as CEO, I found that the most important decisions tested my courage far more than my intelligence .— Ben Horowitz
Listen to your team, board and whoever you like, but decisions are on you.
Nobody ever regrets acting swiftly. — Sequoia Black Swan memorandum
Looking back over my career, I have never made a tough change involving resource shift or personnel change, that I haven’t wished I had made a year or so earlier — Any Grove, Intel
For most hard decisions, you will always be tempted to procrastinate, let some time pass to collect more information and make a better decision. But for most tough decisions, you will only regret not having done it before.
It’s hard to do a really good job on anything you don’t think about in the shower .— Paul Graham
If you can hustle, work hard, and apply skills to alter the probability of success, the change being created by those actions is not luck, but rather skill .— Tren Griffin