The first role is that of the architect. You need to plan for the big picture. Set the vision and culture around a risky goal. You need to have a general plan for where you want your business to go, but not get hung up on developing that plan perfectly. Think like an architect in the concept and design development phase rather than one in the detailing schematic phase. Every initiative should change with new customer feedback. The best entrepreneurs bet first on the people, and second on the plan. It's easier to adjust a plan than to adjust people. Begin at the start-up stage by having a clear purpose and a few top priorities to achieve that purpose, but you need to know that many aspects at this point are night priority and you need to wait.
The second role for an entrepreneur is the storyteller. You need to constantly sell the story of your vision and research how it should evolve. If it's raising funds, explaining to employees, recruiting top talent, or selling the product, you need to constantly pitch, like a salesman, and act as the company's chief storyteller. People can learn many aspects of effective selling. Even if they're only somewhat good at it, they come to realize by telling a story, they can gain access to invaluable customer and product research. Customers' interactions help turn a vision into one of precise focus.
The third, and final, role we'll discuss today is the disciplinarian. You have to give excellent execution, which comes from sticking to a strict set of controls and principles. You have to have the right set of operating metrics to measure the progress. Have a dashboard that includes customer counts, recurring customers, and online usage metrics. The key to delivering what you want is to know how to pick the customers and operating metrics that will serve as indicators for the financial metrics desired.
Planning, selling, and executing may sound like a pretty straightforward thing to do. But to play all three roles at one time can produce its challenges, especially for an early-stage CEO. But you don't have to possess the talent to do all three if you build a strong team. To assess your own aptitude and effectiveness, look at recent tasks, meetings, and other activities you've done. Where do they fit in to these three roles? When you understand which areas you are strongest in, you can focus on your skills and fill the gaps with the best talent you can find.
Entrepreneurship is rarely a one-man task. Find help from the best and you'll be able to manage all of these roles smoothly.