What matters in leading a company?


I'm wondering, what are the main skills, knowledge, etc. for a founder/ceo/leader of the startup (this may actually refer to an already "made" company)? Does age matter or is it the thoughtfulness of decisions/actions that constitute if age matters at all? This may actually be answered by certain main lead characteristics on the web, but please, share your thoughts/experience on the matter.

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asked Nov 10 '10 at 19:18
Denys S.
166 points

6 Answers


Vision and clarity to set the direction

The ability to build a great team and inspire people

The ability to sell the story of how the business creates value

answered Nov 10 '10 at 23:03
Susan Jones
4,128 points


Passion and consistency.

It also helps not being realistic, and I based this in Will Smith's quote "being realistic is the most commonly travelled road to mediocrity"

answered Nov 11 '10 at 00:54
4,815 points


  • define the vision
  • define the culture by example
  • build a great team and inspire them
  • be accountable
  • make the tough decisions
  • understand finances
answered Nov 15 '10 at 12:31
309 points


As I see it a leader must possess a enduring drive and vision for the end result and success. Experience for me has allowed me to be a better leader because whereas in my earlier years I would cut heads off first then ask questions I have calmed and realized its best to get the facts first and then make decisions taking many variables into consideration.

Accountability. The ability to stop the buck and take reigns of any given situation. I do not know if age really is the key rather than experience. This is really key as it has allowed for me to "let go" and NOT micro manage but trust in a persons ability to be productive.

Finally having the ability to self analyze. Often everyone is at fault so to speak but never looks within themselves and this maybe the one quality that separates true leaders from title holders. If one continually drives to turn weaknesses into strengths then one must begin at their own doorstep before looking outward.

I do not know if this helps, just my thoughts on the topic.
Be well

answered Nov 10 '10 at 22:10
Xs Direct
275 points
  • Thanks for answer, good point there about "own doorstep". – Denys S. 12 years ago


Defining the culture and priorities and acting in a manner consistent with those.

answered Nov 11 '10 at 01:11
Tim J
8,346 points


A business needs two things. Money and the ability to get more money. So the leading question comes down to what does it take to get money for this type of company and industry.

So the answers depend. One answer does not fit for all types of companies. As long as you have a mechansim to get and have money for a company then the leadership question is being fulfilled. If there isn't a mechanism for getting money then the leadership question is failing along with probably a whole bunch of other things.

answered Nov 11 '10 at 02:12
John Bogrand
2,210 points

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