Being the Commander in Chief isn’t an easy gig. I’ve looked up and watched great CEOs shoulder the burden of the whole company. It’s hard not to spread yourself too thin when there are so many things that need doing and improving.
Honestly, it looks like a really lonely job. Trying to figure out how to prioritize what needs the most attention, when, while having to present yourself like you have all the answers. Because you’re THE leader, and you’re supposed to have all the answers. When times get tough, you’re the one to pick up the torch and pick the direction of the company.
Mark Roberge, HubSpot’s Chief Revenue Officer, came to talk with us last week about starting up, sales tactics, and how to navigate different company transitions. He referenced Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan’s leadership throughout tough transition points:
Every year we hit a problem; whether it was salesperson morale, product stability; all these things can sink the company, but Dharmesh and especially Brian had a leadership approach…which was as entrepreneurs, even when we were 20 million and then 50 million, when a huge problem hit… they made a bold decision so extreme that it would literally sink the company if it didn’t work.
I bet those were hard decisions to make. I can’t imagine the pressure, sleepless nights, and fear of having made the wrong decision. Good thing it worked out!
If I were a betting lady, I’d wager that many of these decisions revolved around what was right for their customers.
So SaaS CEOs, when times get tough, I’d ask you one question:
What’s the one thing you could do, such that by doing it, everything else would be easier or unnecessary?
In his book, The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, Gary Keller says the answer to this question is everything. It drives focus on your highest contribution behavior.
Chances are you think about focus a lot, but it often changes, especially if you’re starting up. We have the answer for you. What’s the one thing you could do, such that by doing it, everything else would be easier or unnecessary?
Make your customers happy.
At Drift, we’ve partnered with our friends at Price Intelligently to produce an epic free eBook. It’s 36 free pages chalk full of how to make the right customer-driven products, how to fairly price your products based on value, how to drive product usage and assess satisfaction, and how to manage to the right metrics for your company.
We hope it’s useful, and welcome your feedback!