Innovation Insights

INNOVATION INSIGHTS
Increase Your Venture’s Chance of Success: 
3 Skills a CEO Must Possess





CHRIS JANZEN

 

Founding and running a startup business presents multiple challenges. From finding initial customers to hiring the first employees, there is much that a startup CEO must deal with. Startup success rates are low with the best of conditions; however, it’s easy for a startup CEO to overlook their own strengths and weaknesses to the detriment of their business. Forty-six percent of new startups will fail as a result of CEO mismanagement. What are some of the skills a good startup CEO has? This article presents three key skills that any startup CEO must possess.

 

INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE

It is not necessary to be an expert in the industry you are working in; however, it is imperative that a CEO possess the skills to track and understand the opportunities and challenges presented in the market. Not anticipatating changes in the market or failing to identify upcoming challenges is one reason startup companies fail. Having a CEO that can anticipate trouble and pivot the business when necessary will contribute to long-term sustainability.

 

ARTICULATING A VISION

While it may seem obvious, it is critical that a CEO be able to articulate a vision for the business and get employees and customers to support or buy into the vision. All CEOs have an idea of what they would like their business to be, but very few are able to outline that vision in such a way as to get buy-in and support them from others. 

 

MANAGEMENT SKILLS

With the vision clearly articulated, the CEO must then possess the day-to-day management skills to carry out their vision. Keeping budgets and projects in line, employees engaged in the vision and maintaining key partnerships are daily tasks that can often be overlooked in the hustle and bustle of startup life. However, without maintaining a pulse on these critical issues, startup CEOs often find themselves struggling to stay focused on their business.

There is no blueprint for how to be a successful CEO in a startup; however, by developing competency in the above areas, startups and their CEOs, will have a much higher chance at success.  

 

Chris Janzen is the senior business analyst at Innovate Niagara.

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Twitter: @InnovateNiagara

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