A Superb Look at the Changing Demands on the CEO
Summary: Almost everyone has an idea at some point in their lives for a great new company. Of those who go forward with those ideas, few actually get to stick around to enjoy all of the benefits of the eventual success. The reason is that many such founder CEOs remain stuck in the roles and habits that were essential to getting off to a good start. Those habits in turn become the limitations that keep the enterprise from growing. This book is an invaluable resource for CEOs who want to understand how they need to grow with the job.
The book's title is an outstanding one for its subject. The CEO's ability to learn is a key limit to a company's success. When an improved product or service ignites rapid growth, it is typical for the growth to exceed that of the CEO's ability to learn. The board eventually finds a replacement who already has those lessons under her or his belt.
While no book can teach you everything you need to know, you can use this book as a road map to tell you where you need to go next.
The book also addresses what the company's focus should be. During start-up, it's developing new products and services. During initial growth, it's driving sales forward. In rapid growth, it is leading the market. And in continuous growth it is dominating the industry.
The material in the book is greatly improved by sections called "red flags" where warning signs of the need to change are identified.
A take-away from this book is to think about all of the roles in which you have to change in your life. For example, as a parent, you are initially a loving adult and caregiver for babies. But when you children are 25, they need something different. You need to make those transitions along the way, or you lose the connection to their most urgent emotional, psychological, and physical needs.
Learn the art of improvisation . . . so that you can play any role on a moment's notice!