What is CEO’s Job

What a CEO should do? I have to recommend an article from Ben Horowitz again (the second time in a week): How Andreessen Horowitz Evaluates CEOs.

Here is some note I took away from the reading. You should definitely read it too, by yourself.

According to Ben, he thinks the CEOs should do two things:

  • Does the CEO know what to do?
  • Can the CEO get the company do what he knows?

This is very broad and “empty” statement at the first glance, but Ben explained it in a very good way.

First one

About the first one, “Does the CEO knows what to do?”, Ben suggested “One should interpret this question as broadly as possible”. Basically, it is like: CEO needs to know everything. Don’t laugh. It is actually very true. The CEO has to have insights of many things, from the office arrangement, to hiring, to marketing, to technology, to finance. Knowing what to do is about consistently keeping thinking about what’s behind the surface. It is tough, but … exciting.

In particular, the story – the question “Why”…

The other interesting part about know what to do is to make decisions. What Ben contributed in this idea is to clearly point out that CEO needs to make decisions with very limited information, always! The expectation to understand more about it is just not realistic. That actually gave me great relief about the situation I am in.

Second One

The second one is about getting the company do what he knows.

It turned out to be organizational capacity, get things done culture, quality of hiring, and the work environment. It is not surprising that Ben mentioned the Netflix culture building slides.

For Baixing, as a company with 50+ full time employees, we tried very hard to build a great company, and with great result. We are trying so hard to make sure the people are the core of the organization, and build the culture to help people to perform within it. It takes years of experience to get it…

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