Dear SaaStr: What Steps Did You Take To Become a CEO?

I went through a rapid but clear progression of roles:

  • Start-up attorney, meet 20+ CEOs, attend dozens of board meetings. Watch and listen and observe.
  • Director at Start-Up, report to CEO.
  • Then add direct reports, manage a department.
  • Get acquired for $1b, IPO. Watch and learn.
  • VP at Start-Up, report to different CEO.
  • Raise $35m for that CEO/company.
  • Get up nerve to be a founder.
  • Founder & Chief Business Officer at Start-Up.
  • Founder & CEO at Start-Up.

I got to work with all different sort of CEOs, watch them, then report to several, then be a manager, then a VP, then a founder, then a CEO.

That was about as good as I was. I needed to go through each step.

Others can skip them. The key is recruiting an amazing team, and starting to learn early.

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