One day, I walked by the kitchen and saw Cary washing the dishes. “Huh” I thought, “The CEO is pitching in. Cool.” I figured it must have been his turn or something, and sort of forgot about it.
A week or so passed, and then it happened again. The kitchen became a ginormous mess, and then one day, there’s Cary, washing dishes. Then it happened again, and again. Each time, he’d look up, and nod, then go back to scrubbing dishes. One day, I walked by the kitchen and noticed it was a huge mess. So I washed the dishes.
Being the CEO of the company isn’t about power, authority, or glamour, it’s about washing the dishes when nobody else will.
Being the CEO is about being responsible for everything. That said, I would hope that once he got some budget, Cary hired someone to do the dishes for the office for twenty bucks a day. Unless, of course, that was the best use of his time...
As a startup founder, I have found that the most dangerous frame of mind for me to be in is one where I think someone else will take care of it if I don't. Take responsibility, take action, and get results. No one else will do that for you.
The only situation where it makes sense to relinquish some responsibility is when you have a fully committed, on-board, competent cofounder. The rest of the time, you're on your own, buddy.
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