Blog: Making of a CEO: Takeaways from a B-school course


Making of a CEO: Takeaways from a B-school course

At IIM-Bangalore, the author taught a course on 'Making of a CEO'. Here he lists the key learning from the session.
Making of a CEO: Takeaways from a B-school course

Last term, I taught a course at IIM Bangalore. It was a rather ambitious course - called "Making of a CEO". The aim of the course was to learn from CEOs - both from established and startups - how their journey has been to the position. The course also looked at how the CEOs shaped the culture, brought out change, transformed businesses and also made a vision happen.

As part of the course there were 5 CEO interactions in the classroom and students met up with 20 CEOs - both from startups and established companies. I thought of sharing some interesting differences we found from the CEOs of established Cos and Startups.

a) Startup CEOs more driven by the purpose - both of creating it and making it happen. While the established company CEOs were in the journey of reinventing the purpose and making it more relevant.

b) Most of the established CEOs showed a high level of maturity, a great sense of balance, a more 360 degree view of business, and valued their experiences and learning. However, startup CEOs are more driven by their technical/knowledge brilliance and the critical shift they have to make if the business matures is to mature themselves :)

c) Startup CEOs are very less bothered of the "rules of the game". They have very less patience for status quo. Established company CEOs who are successful are the one's who could flex the rules of the game to steer the company ahead.

d) Startup CEOs are driven by the idea - Established company CEOs drive by their plans and strategies

e) Of all the most interesting is about the people angle. The critical factor that the CEOs have acknowledged is the role of the people they have and how they have managed them to make the organizational journey successful.

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Topics: C-Suite, Leadership

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