We continue with the #InsightsPodcastSeries, and on this podcast, we have Elad Gill, author of high growth handbook.
Elad has had significant experience with super high growth startups, with Google growing from 1500 people to 15000 people in 3 and a half years.
After his stint at Google, Elad started a company called Mixer labs which was acquired by twitter in a few years, where the team grew from 90 people to 1500 people in a couple of years. This is when he started contemplating high growth, and how to build a machine that can recruit ten people a week instead of one person a month. What was supposed to be a blog post, became a massively successful book. Elad is also involved in as an operating executive, and investor or advisor to private companies such as AirBnB, Coinbase, Gusto, Instacart, Optimizely, Pinterest, Square, Stripe, Wish, Zenefits.
A startup CEO until very recently was CEO only till they got the company off the ground, with professional management taking over, but since the days of Mark Zuckerberg, this has changed, with the founder and CEO being the mainstay with a very strong executive team backing them. Elad talks to us about the importance of the founder CEO, the vision and entrepreneurial spirit they bring to the table and he goes into greater detail about the evolving role of the CEO.
While hard work is important for success, avoiding burn outs are even more important. It is important for founders to take a break, and take some time for themselves. Founders should focus on building relationships outside of work and this will be the support system for them when they go through really hard times at work. Silicon Valley founders create a mythos about themselves about how hard they work, but what we don't hear about is the vacations and breaks they take that enables them to push hard.
As startups scale, it is important for the CEO to play multiple roles, but it is even more critical for them to realize their weaknesses and hire for those positions and be willing and open to learn from the next level. The "growth mindset" is extremely important for founders to lead the company and make it a truly generational one. Learning from your peers, and being able to trust them with their work and letting go is key to taking the company to the next level each and every time.