When is it Time to Replace Yourself as the CEO of Your Company?

I was recently asked this question by an entrepreneur who had grown his business to a certain point and felt stuck.  Someone had suggested to him that perhaps he was not the right guy to take his business to the next level, which made him wonder if he was holding his company back by continuing as the CEO.  He wondered if it was time to hire a “professional CEO” to run the business.  In my experience, the answer to this question depends on the individual and how hard they are willing to work on themselves. 

This concept was reinforced by Jim Collins, author of “Good to Great” and “Built to Last” when he spoke at our Vistage ChairWorld conference last week.  From his perspective, every entrepreneur has the potential to scale their business as long as they are willing to develop themselves.  He cited the example of Steve Jobs, who after being fired by Apple, later returned to Apple as a different type of leader.  Collins called him Steve Jobs 2.0, and felt that he was a much better leader the second time around.

People who are willing to change and develop themselves are able to accomplish amazing things.  The key is the desire to learn and grow.  If you are unwilling to change, then go ahead and hire that professional CEO to replace you when you feel stuck.  If you are willing to do the hard work involved in creating your version of YOU 2.0, then let’s get started!

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