The founder and CEO of one of my portfolio companies recently caught up with the VC partner who led his latest round and was the newest member on his board. The company had recently raised a series A round, and things were early, but looking promising.
This founder made an interesting request: “Who are the best CEO’s you have ever worked with? What made them the best? And please introduce me to them so I can learn to be the best CEO I can possibly be.”
This founder made a similar request to the investor that led his seed round too.
I loved this question, and the attitude behind it. And I’ve loved the way this company’s team has made it a priority to be students of their craft and be as good as they can be. This is true across the board – from the way they hire, to the way they are obsessively focused on customers, to the way they set goals and monitor their performance, and so forth.
It takes time to try to continually improve oneself. And it takes time to look a bit beyond the job at hand towards the job to come. I think this is what makes founders and executives “scaleable”. And it’s what makes companies durable.
I can’t predict whether this company will be successful in the long term. There are many factors beyond one’s control that can influence that outcome. But you have to control what you are able to control, and aspire to stay current and keep improving.