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Learning
Insights

How to Go From Founder to CEO

Written by 
Plus X Innovation
 on 
March 4, 2024
Plus X Innovation
Brighton
3
 min

Get some tips on how to go from putting out fires as a founder to stoking the flames of success as a CEO.

Members of Plus X Innovation talking together in the shared space.

Founders often find themselves having to become masters of plate spinning.  

Having grown the business from a spark of an idea to a success, you’ll know your company at a granular level. But while it’s crucial to know your business inside out, this reactive mindset can also take up a lot of time, meaning founders can often struggle to make space to create a long-term vision or action plan for their business.  


It may feel counter-intuitive at first, but by relinquishing responsibility and focusing on developing leadership qualities, culture, and strategy you will inevitably drive your business forward.


Here are some tips on how to go from putting out fires as a founder to stoking the flames of success as a CEO:


1. Delegation and Time Blocking



Time is your most valuable asset. And you need to move on from working ‘in’ your business, to working ‘on’ your business.


Hand over the day-to-day needs of your business to your team and get your head out of the minutia. You’ve managed to grow your business to success, now you must learn how to trust your team to keep it going for you, so you can look at the bigger picture.  


Block out intentional time in your calendar dedicated to strategy and long-term thinking. Time blocking is a great way to ensure you are setting aside the time you need. Start with small blocks at first, stick to them no matter what and expand from there.  



2. Develop a Strategic Vision


Now you have the time, you can develop your company’s mission for the future.  


As the CEO, you are responsible for deciding the direction of the company, and aligning your team company-wide to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals. To work towards your vision together, they need to know it.  


Start by working on a vision statement and look at examples of businesses you admire.  


3. Accountability



It’s all well and good to lay out the plan, but it means nothing if it’s not seen through.  


This is not to say that it will be easy. The journey from founder to CEO can be a lonely one; as a leader, the weight of responsibility and seeing your plan through to completion can feel isolating at times.  



Seek out groups of other founders and CEOs who are on the same journey, and set-up accountability check-ins where you set targets and deadlines together and hold one another accountable for achieving them.  



Founder to CEO



First-time founders have exciting, albeit challenging, journeys to look forward to. But you don’t need to navigate it alone. If you’re a founder looking to make the leap to become a CEO, join us for our full-day intensive programme run by expert Duncan Knight on 19th March 2024.  


You’ll join a group of likeminded founders and will learn throughout the day from other experts who have made the jump. To be eligible to join this programme, you must have a business with an operating address in London. This programme is fully funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund so we can deliver it at zero cost to you.  


Sign up here
.  

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