Though just 24 years old, Nadav Shoval has recently launched five businesses, including Spot.IM, , where he serves as CEO. A lot of us assume a business owner who has successfully launched a startup will thrive as a CEO but Nadav has learned both roles require vastly different, and frequently incompatible, skill sets. He shared his insights on the various responsibilities and challenges each role presents.
What do you think may be the biggest misconception about the entrepreneur turned CEO?
It could sound provocative to say it, but entrepreneurs aren’t CEOs-in-waiting. We have to stop thinking about them that way if you want to build truly successful and, most importantly, sustainable companies. We prefer to think of the fantastic product developer or disruptive innovator as just the precursor to being the top of a hugely successful company. However the truth of the problem is, there are marked and critical differences between being truly a successful entrepreneur and an effective CEO. Sometimes, they even require quite opposite or contrasting skill sets.
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What exactly are the main responsibilities to be an entrepreneur? How about a CEO?
A business owner acts as a hugely powerful engine for disruption and change. That’s incredibly valuable, especially in the beginning of a project. At this stage, success is founded on identifying a problem to resolve, quickly creating a remedy to fill that require and convincing potential investors, partners, employees and users/customers that the perfect solution is will continue to work.
But a CEO must be a car for sustainable success. If you’re leading a company it’s not enough to you need to be the engine. That may get the journey started but provides no guarantees to getting to your destination without trouble, if. What’s key to a CEO’s success, and what can in fact be inimical to an entrepreneur’s creativity, is structure. A CEO must supply the working infrastructure around different hubs or engines of creativity, if they would like to do their job well. It’s less about providing the energy, and more about harnessing it for a more substantial purpose or goal.
For a CEO, milk matters, whereas for a business owner, it doesn’t need to. Why by that is a CEO must worry about small, seemingly minor matters an entrepreneur gets the luxury to ignore. A CEO must worry that their company includes a medical health insurance and pension system set up, that there surely is a clear policy on sick days, vacation, and bonuses as well as perhaps most significantly, that there surely is milk in the fridge for everyone’s morning coffee. There are a large number of unexciting logistical and administrative conditions that come under a CEOs purview (even if another person does the actual work). That may frustrate an entrepreneur who would like to be absolve to focus on the merchandise.
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Can a business owner also succeed at being truly a CEO?
Whenever we think about archetypal entrepreneur-CEOs, we think immediately of their brilliance and talent for design and innovation, and despite what I’ve said above, there are of course some entrepreneurs who also lead to great CEOs. But also for most of us, brilliance or genius will often conflict with being the individual every employee in a company can trust to lead them.
If a business owner needs enough genius to see something no-one else can, the role of the CEO is really definitely not to be the smartest person in the area. The key to as an effective CEO is identifying and channeling the genius of others and finding out how to apply it with the wider interests of the business at heart.
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How else do entrepreneurs and CEOs differ?
In the same vein, another key difference between a business owner and CEO is based on their primary function. A business owner needs to create something or service. The onus is on them to create the "something from nothing" / ex nihilo proven fact that gets the procedure started.
But a CEO can’t focus solely on getting things started because, as I said above, they have to supply the infrastructure for long run success. For the reason that sense, a CEO should be more of an editor when compared to a creator. His job is knowing when and what things to cut from new suggestions to shape them (and the business) in to the form which will ensure the best chances for success.
Just how do entrepreneurs and CEOs match the entire business structure?
If a business owner needs to insist upon doing things his way, (which might often, to be fair, be the simplest way to accomplish something), a CEO must accept his way might not always be the proper way.
Within the framework of a more substantial company, any given situation will demand different standards and means of doing things. One project may necessitate efficiency to operate a vehicle the pace, while another perfection, and success is based on knowing the difference and being flexible enough to adapt. A lot more, this means recognizing that different colleagues are likely to bring different perspectives and approaches. Understanding how to trust their expertise and decision-making, even though you may do things differently, could be critical.
A business owner are able to have tunnel vision. Focusing all their attention on the chance they see before them is critical for his or her success. But, to keep the metaphor, a CEO will need double vision. They have to have the ability to see both opportunities for growth and the obstacles that lie in the form of that growth. If indeed they can’t employ this type of preemptive problem solving, they’ll inevitably fall into every pitfall that crosses their path, even though that may work for a while for a business owner, for a CEO in charge of a complete company, those are setbacks you can ill-afford.