CEOs should manage capabilities not capacity

This post (and most of my posts actually) is an outgrowth of a conversation with someone I am advising (a fellow CEO).

Over the last few years , TSYS has experimented with a number of management structures. Specifically with reporting structures and day to day operational management.

One key take away , is that startup (in particular) CEOs shouldn’t manage capacity ( execution , amount of work and output etc) . That should be delegated one layer down. For too long I tried to manage capacity and it was ineffective, as I was also trying to manage capability and product etc. Basically I brought in a CTO much later than I needed to. Once I stopped managing capacity and I focused on closing capability gaps , we’ve been able to move forward much faster and with way less energy. Of course a company still needs fantastic talent , and that’s where my exclusive focus has been . Identifying , recruiting for , closing key material capability gaps. That’s also a critical pre requisite for outside funding (which also I’m finally raising , much later than I should have). Self funding a startup the first few years is a trade off. However it’s allowed us to establish a very strong culture , be incredibly frugal and have our internal systems setup right (no “we will do this thing later , just focus on product). We also have achieved some revenue. So team/revenue being on a good trajectory puts us in control with fundraising.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *