First time CEO or CTO who just got funding series A or B (especially B!)? Working 10–17 hour days (or more!), then this post is for you

If you are a first time CEO or CTO who just got funding series A or B (especially B!) and you are working 10–17 hour days (or more!), this is for you.

Overwhelmed by a wave of ‘to do’ lists

⛳ You work insane hours, and yet you are never ahead.

⛳ You are constantly fire fighting, constantly pulled in many directions, constantly go-go-go.

⛳ There are so many things that need your attention, that you are always worried about what you might have missed.

⛳ You become less and less proactive, and more and more reactive.

⛳ In fact by now, 99% of the stuff you do, is reactive.

🛑 You might have gotten to the stage where you literally rely on another fire to tell you where you should spend your time and attention. If so, stop! You need strategic support!

⛳ You thought hiring people would be less pressure on you but actually it’s now more pressure and more fires than ever.

⛳ The bigger the team you manage, the bigger your workload.

Plus you’ve never done this before.

⛳ You don’t even know if what you are doing is right, because you have no benchmark or previous experience.

Board members might have offered help, but you can’t be fully transparent with them because they have a vested interest.

⛳ You never feel able to take a breath and go “that short period of crazy hours is done now because we dealt with the emergency but now we’re back to cruising”.

⛳ You have to constantly self motivate and now, as your team grows, also you have to motivate others who are employed by you.

🛑 You don’t want to demotivate people but at the same time, sometimes you feel upset and perhaps even bitter, because you feel that you work much harder and are much more stressed than them and yet, they’re the ones you should support. If you get to this stage — stop now! You need strategic support!

🛑 If you feel like sometimes you have nothing left to give, and just want to run into a corner — you’ve gone too far! Stop — you need strategic support!

The above symptoms are keeping you in fight, flight or freeze (FFF) mode.

When you are like this:

🛑 you can’t be creative,
🛑 you can’t be strategic,
🛑 you can’t address it alone to course-correct.

You are experiencing this because:

✓ you are using an IC (individual contributor) approach to tackle a strategic problem

(and are not using a strategic contributor approach because you don’t know what that looks like, and being in FFF, makes it very hard to zoom out of the situation)

✓ you are (often still!) trying to establish product-market fit and therefore have to be prepared to shift and change direction in response to market feedback

✓ you are doing this for the first time, setting up everything from scratch and for the first time, so everything will be inefficient to begin with. You have had no time or opportunity to optimise.

Please stop — look for a strategic advisor (other than me, there are plenty others, but I’m definitely one) to help you.

#ceo #cto #seriesA #seriesB #scaling #growing

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Adelina Chalmers a.k.a The Geek Whisperer

Helps Engineers who are Leaders (CEO/ CTO/ VP) get buy-in from their peers/teams/investors by transforming Communication techniques into Algorithms