The Secret to Living a Balanced Life as a CEO? Pick a Strong Second in Command.

The Secret to Living a Balanced Life as a CEO? Pick a Strong Second in Command.

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The secret’s to discover a accomplice who is powerful in areas the place you’re weak.


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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their very own.


Entrepreneurs aren’t identified for having work-life stability. In my expertise, looking for stability as a startup founder is like on the lookout for a real-life unicorn. In the event you’re seeking to create one thing that’s disrupting an business, the trail is not going to be simple.

Associated: Really, You Do Have Time for Each Your Household and Your Enterprise

Constructing out a brand new thought virtually ensures imbalance. That is very true within the early phases of a startup. Previous to becoming a member of LegalZoom, I’d work 100 hours every week. It was a fast-paced startup world. I needed to make sure sacrifices. For instance, I selected to not have a household instantly, as a result of I knew I would not be capable to be the current father I wished to be. Nonetheless, I used to be ready to make these choices. I believed within the work I used to be doing, and I knew it was going to take blood, sweat and tears.

So, what’s my recommendation to entrepreneurs on reaching stability? First, develop the corporate. Even in an organization of 25 individuals, the burden of management typically falls on one individual. It may well take upwards of 100 individuals to essentially discover a shift in management. However, second, and most significantly, search for a co-partner that’s simply as sturdy as you’re.

The one-two punch

Often, when corporations are based, there’s one particular person who is well known. We neglect there’s virtually all the time one other individual behind the scenes serving to to name the pictures. Oftentimes, that individual would not wish to share the highlight. She or he is completely satisfied to have a personal going through position and simply wish to get the work performed. We have a tendency to speak in regards to the visionaries, however there needs to be an individual within the firm who helps flip that imaginative and prescient into actuality. Everyone knows Walt Disney, and perhaps even the earlier longtime CEO Michael Eisner, however what about Frank Wells? Because the president and COO alongside Eisner, Wells helped lead the corporate by way of a 10-year interval of unprecedented progress. Steve Jobs will without end be remembered because the visionary behind Apple, however Steve Wozniak supplied the mandatory engineering experience to drive the corporate ahead. Even as we speak, many consider Elon Musk wants a powerful second-in-command to assist run Tesla.

Associated: Is Going ‘All-In’ On Your New Startup Going to Value You Your Household and Relationships?

I name this dynamic the “one-two punch” in management. As a CEO, it’s important to suppose critically about your second-in-command — whether or not it is the COO, CTO or CFO.

All of us need to have the ability to spend our time doing the issues at which we excel. Excellence is what drives the corporate ahead. At LegalZoom, I have been capable of spend 80 % of my working hours on duties that leverage my strengths. The one means that I can do that’s by having a accomplice who is powerful in areas I could also be weaker. In a powerful one-two punch mixture, each of us are spending 80 % of our time on our strengths. The secret’s that these strengths do not overlap.

Learn how to discover an awesome co-captain

The longer you wait to seek out your “two,” or in the event you make a mistake in deciding on that individual, you set your self up for bother. How do you discover a second-in-command that may enable you lead your organization to success? It might appear apparent, however the first key’s to grasp the place your weaknesses lie. It’s important that your co-leader make up for the abilities that you simply lack, and vice versa.

Associated: The First Step to Attaining Work-Life Stability? Cease Calling It That.

It is essential to think about an individual’s background as properly, however do not be afraid to look past the resume. I’ve judged candidates earlier than primarily based on uncooked expertise and a intestine feeling on their potential. Generally the perfect individual for the position would not essentially have the strongest resume. As an alternative, she or he has a excessive degree of motivation and a killer work ethic. These are the people that by no means hear “no.” They search for options reasonably than simply figuring out points — and they’re important within the startup world.

In the end, whilst you deliver totally different talent units and profession aspirations to the desk, you and your co-partner should join at a collegial degree. On the finish of the day, it’s important to recognize what the opposite does. It’s important to share a standard imaginative and prescient and mission.

Discovering stability, in any case

Any CEO with some semblance of stability of their life owes it to the small military of people behind them serving to to make it occur. Whilst you ought to put together for imbalance early in your profession and perceive the sacrifices it takes to begin an organization, with the fitting “two,” you may have the help wanted to succeed.

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