The Great CEO Within: The Tactical Guide to Company Building - Deepstash

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What to do when you are CEO.

The Great CEO Within: The Tactical Guide to Company Building

The Great CEO Within: The Tactical Guide to Company Building

by Matt Mochary


145 reads

The Great CEO Inside You: Key Takeaways

  • You need to learn how to manage yourself before you can manage your business.
  • Communicate ideas and proposals in writing during the decision making process.
  • If you do it twice, write it down. Documentation is the key to building scalable processes.
  • Don’t ignore confli...

The Initial Team

  • Find a partner who has complementary skills to yours. 
  • Give up a large percentage of the company. It’s worth it.
  • Do not create a 50/50 partnership. While 50/50 sounds like an ideal, it actually leads to real pain if there is no easy way to break a deadlock.
  • Founding t...

Inbox Zero: Work On Your Top Goals

Inefficient leaders waste a lot of time reaching out about, or responding to, one-off issues in real-time. A much more efficient method is to batch your issues and discuss them all at once. 

Check email only twice a day: morning and afternoon.

Schedule two hours each day to work on yo...

On-Time and Present

  • Do not waste other people’s time. It is disrespectful and counterproductive.
  • When you anticipate being late, let the other party know as soon as possible.
  • Be present. Be focused on what’s being discussed. Do not check your messages. Phone and computer away.


  • Focus on the positives.
  • We perform our best when we are having fun and feeling good about ourselves.
  • Say or write down one thing that you’re thankful for each day.
  • Be appreciative. Tell people when they’ve done something good.
  • Set aside 1 hour a week to be int...

Check Your Energy

  • If you can spend 75-80% of your time doing things that energize you – magic will occur.
  • Audit your time and figure out how much of it is spent on activities that energize you and what activities drain you. Outsource or delegate the things that drain you as much as possible.

The Four Zones

Zone of incompetence: other people do better than you

Zone of competence: you can do it just fine, but others are just as good as you

Zone of excellence: things you are better at than others. You will want to keep doing these things, ...


  • Your physical health is paramount.
  •  Take care of your mental health. Build a support group.
  • Get a therapist, even if you don’t think you need one. You will find it invariably useful.

Decision Making

If you want the most effective and efficient decision-making process, require that anyone who wants to discuss an issue write it up, along with the desired solution, ahead of time.

Two ways to do this:

The hard way: Write an extraordinarily thorough analysis from the ...

Getting Buy-In

  • You get buy-in when people feel they are part of the decision and their input matters
  • When people are given more influence, they feel more invested.

The Three Methods:

  • The manager decides, tells the team, and answers questions.
  • The manager crea...

Issues and Proposed Solutions

  • Don’t discuss issues verbally. It is both inefficient and ineffective.
  • Instead, require that anyone who presents an Issue at a team meeting do so in writing.
  • The write-up should include both a detailed description of the Issue as well as their Proposed Solution. They cannot s...

  • Be aware of who is in the room when you have a group discussion. Know that work titles will influence other people’s answers.
  • To avoid influencing other people’s ideas, have people write down their votes or thoughts before you share your perspective.
  • Let junior people speak a...

Sloppy Agreements

  • Sloppy agreements are when people don’t show up on time, don’t complete the goals that they declare.
  • The antidote is Impeccable Agreements. They are 1) precisely defined and 2) fully agreed to (which almost always means written) by all relevant people.
  • There must be consequen...


  • Don’t hide negative information.
  • Our imaginations are much more powerful than reality.
  • Share all relevant information with your team, both negative and positive. Let them adapt.

Conflict Resolution

Interpersonal conflict is almost always due to people:

  1. Not fully sharing their thoughts and feelings
  2. Not feeling heard

Prove to people that you have heard them by summarizing what you just said back to you until they say “that’s right!” Once you assure them that you...

Issue Identification

  • Ask each people to pretend that they’re the CEO and answer “What are the most important issues (max 3) for me to solve in the next 90 days?
  • Ask people to write down their thoughts about the company when they source their Joy, Excitement, Sadness, Anger and Fear.

Values And Culture

  • You don’t choose your values. You have them.
  • Use your values as a guide to who you hire and when you fire.
  • Print and distribute your values
  • Don’t underestimate the value of FUN as a value.
  • Don’t forget to celebrate. Make an effort to publicly acknowledge achie...

Goal Tracking And Responsibility

  • Never assign someone an action without them agreeing to it verbally or in writing.
  • Encourage people to use their own individual tools for tracking their specific actions. Keep the group goal tracker high level.

Areas of Responsibility:

  • When more than o...

Collaboration: OKRs

Every successful large company uses a system of “Objectives and Key Results(OKRs)”.

  • Set vision and goals for the company, each dept, and each individual on a regular basis (usually quarterly).
  • Communicate that vision and those goals to every team member.

Tracking Of OKRs

Target is 3 objectives with 3 key results for each.

The Objective: Where do we want to go? Not necessarily measurable

Key Results: How do we know that we’re getting there? These should be measurable.

  • Gather your leadership team and have eve...


  • Be efficient, or risk grinding all other processes to a halt.
  • Spend as little time as possible with the candidates that you don’t hire (quick evaluation) and as much time as possible with the candidates that you want to and do hire (building a relationship, onboarding/training).
  • ...

Sales: Building Trust With The Customer

  • Ask the customer about them.
  • Listen actively and reflect back on what they say.
  • At the second meeting, show that you remember what they said at the first.
  • Be explicit about NOT talking about your company.
  • “Before we talk about what we do, I’d like to start by ...

Sales: Customer Development

  • Identify the customer’s specific challenges by asking the right questions.
  • You need to understand your customer’s pain before you present your solution.
  • Over time, you will want to build an inventory of problem and solution statements for the different kinds of customers and ...

Sales: Hiring The Sales People

  • Don’t hire sales people right away.
  • In most cases, salespeople will never be able to sell better than the founders and they won’t be able to sell the product if you are not able to.
  • To thrive, salespeople need to have a very clear product offering to sell and a very clear dir...

Seeds : Seeds are generated from word-of-mouth, usually from customer referrals or prior relationships.

Nets : Nets are generated from your marketing, such as events, SEO, white papers, and ad campaigns. They are called Nets because you are going for “quant...


  • The greatest risk is not moving too slow. It’s spreading scarce resources too thin.
  • Start by concentrating all of your efforts on the low hanging fruit – the small customer segment that has a particular problem that your product solves 10x better than the competition.
  • Only mo...

Great CEOs Use These Handy Tips

  • You need to document everything.
  • Be more interested in learning than in being right.
  • You are not making a product. You are solving a customer problem. It is critical that you continually live that customer problem.
  • Assign each new team member a buddy with whom they’ll...




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