"…the key to reaching the advanced level and feeling like you were born to be CEO is mastering the unnatural."Ben Horowitz's blog … Making yourself a CEO
…most people actually assume CEOs are born not made. … It generally takes years for a founder to develop the CEO skill set and it is usually extremely difficult for me to tell whether or not she will make it.
Being CEO requires lots of unnatural motion. From an anthropological standpoint, it is natural to do things that make people like you. It enhances your chances for survival. Yet to be a good CEO, in order to be liked in the long run, you must do many things that will upset people in the short run. Unnatural things.
Giving feedback turns out to be the unnatural atomic building block atop which the unnatural skill set of management gets built. But how does one master the unnatural?
-The Shit Sandwich
-To become elite at giving feedback, you must elevate yourself beyond a basic technique like the shit sandwich. You must develop a style that matches your own personality and values. Here are the keys to being effective:
Come from the right place
Don’t get personal
Don’t clown people in front of their peers
Feedback is not one size fits all
Be direct, but not mean
-Feedback is a dialogue, not a monologue
-High frequency feedback will have two critically important positive effects:
Feedback won’t be personal in your company
People will become comfortable discussing bad news
-Making the CEO
If you are a founder CEO and you feel awkward or incompetent when doing some of these things and believe there is no way that you’ll be able to do it when your company is 100 or 1,000 people, welcome to the club. That’s exactly how I felt.