There are three things an entrepreneur-CEO must do well to be successful: 1) envision a new and better way of doing things, 2) build that out by building and running one’s organization so that it works excellently, and 3) transition that organization to people who can be successful without the entrepreneur-CEO.
To do these things well, having excellent people with shared values on a common mission is most important. They must be independent thinkers who know how to disagree and get past their disagreements well. While I failed to transition well for the first few years of my transition, I learned a lot from those painful failures and I’m thrilled to say I believe that my key partners and I have now succeeded. One day I will pass along the principles of transitioning I learned that helped me succeed. One of them, which I learned from Jim Collins, is that “you only have to do two things to be successful at transitioning the company: 1) pick a great CEO who can be successful without you, and 2) have a great board that will change the CEO if they aren’t great enough to be successful without you.”Ray Dalio