It’s easy to become tangled up in corporate lingo. Between the founder, CEO, and sometimes Vice President, Managing Director, CTO, and CFO, there’s a lot to unpack.
You’ll need to understand these professions to organize your company’s structure, especially if you’re a startup.
However, the phrases “founder” and “CEO” are not interchangeable. They might often be the same person in an organization, but they can also be two different people.
We’ll look at the definitions of these two terms, as well as how the two positions differ, in this article.
Who is a Founder?
A founder is a person who establishes their own business. They’re the ones who came up with the business concept and put it into action.
For example, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is undoubtedly the first name that comes to mind. Amazon now ships things all over the world, but it was initially only a garage-based bookseller.
A founder must raise funds, gather resources, and market the company. Unlike a CEO, the business’s founder will always be the same, even if he or she leaves.
When there are many founders, they are referred to as co-founders. In most cases, a startup’s founder is also referred to as an entrepreneur.
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Characteristics of a Founder
The following are some of the qualities that a good startup founder should possess:
- It’s a fantastic relationship builder.
- Optimistic outlook
- The ability to pay attention to feedback
- Quick to pick up new information
- Integrity Ambition
A company idea is generated by a founder, who then acts on it. He provides resources, forms a team, goes out to locate new consumers, secures finance, and concentrates on the correct items and services to market, among other things.
A founder rolls up their sleeves and gets the job done, no matter what it takes.
Who is a CEO?
A Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is the company’s highest-ranking executive. They usually collaborate with the founder to implement the company’s strategy and vision.
Delegating work, communicating with board members, and liaising with investors are all activities that a CEO must perform.
Even though it comes with a lot of responsibilities, the title of CEO is highly wanted since it allows you to be at the top of the company and reap the benefits.
Some of the company’s founders also serve as CEOs. Steve Jobs, for example, was not only a co-founder of Apple but also its CEO.
Tim Cook has been named to the position of CEO following his death.
Although every business must have a founder, not every founder must also be the CEO.
Characteristics of a CEO
The following are some of the qualities that a good startup CEO should possess:
- Strong communication skills and a willingness to learn
- Optimistic realism
- Developing relationships
- Ability to listen and take reasonable risks
- Adapting to a variety of leadership styles
These are just a few of the qualities that a CEO must have in order to be a successful leader.
Because the CEO has the ability to make final business decisions and is accountable for the overall performance of the company, it’s critical that the individual picked for the role possesses these and other qualities of a good leader.
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Responsibilities of a Founder and CEO
Staying accessible to one’s staff is one of the founder’s and CEO’s most important roles. It’s also one of the most difficult problems because most founders and CEOs are…
- At all hours of the day and night, at key meetings
- Always going somewhere significant for a meeting.
- In the middle of preparing for the next big meeting.
In a nutshell, they’re occupied.
So, how can they remain available to their teams and give employees the feeling that they can discuss any problems or difficulties with their CEO?
This has traditionally been referred regarded as the “open door” policy.
However, as workplace dynamics change and more workers in large firms work remotely, how can those in control ensure that they are protected?
For example, the easiest method to handle this problem is generally usually to use a good communication platform.
It eliminates the communication barrier that some CEOs and their teams may have, regardless of how large or dispersed the team is.
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What are the Differences Between Founder and CEO
The technical difference between a founder and a CEO is simple: a founder is someone who starts or launches a company, whereas a CEO scales it.
In any organization, the CEO is the highest-ranking executive job.
Simply put, founders work to build their company, whereas CEOs work to improve the day-to-day operations and take it to the next level.
Making that distinction becomes increasingly important as a company grows. Many founders are either able to make the transition to CEO or are not, depending on how they have evolved and skilled themselves along with the company.
However, the key distinctions between the jobs of founder and CEO are the connections to the company’s history as well as the specific tasks that each title entails.
The term founder, for example, is used to describe the creator’s connection to the company’s history.
The term CEO, on the other hand, refers to a person’s current position in the organization’s hierarchy.
The founders will always be the founders of the company. While some founders may become CEOs, this is not a role they will hold indefinitely.
The roles of CEO and founder vary depending on the demands of the firm.
Can a Founder be a CEO?
While every business has a founder, not every founder goes on to become the company’s CEO.
The founder has the option of becoming the company’s CEO or appointing someone else to that position. Although many founders are also the first CEOs of their companies, starting a firm and running a firm require two very distinct skill sets.
Founders are visionaries who came up with the original concept, are more concerned with their product than with operating their business, and are focused on the future.
For instance, Google’s founders, Page and Brin, will always remain the founders but not the CEO.
A CEO is an integrator who thrives on bringing order to chaos. To accomplish this, he gradually expands the company while paying close attention to the nitty-gritty of organizational operations.
The title “CEO” refers to your current position in the organization’s hierarchy.
Sometimes, founders will serve as CEOs, but only for a short time.
From all said above, I will conclude by saying, the term “founder” or “CEO” refers to your connection to the company’s history.
Whatever position you decide to choose, just make sure you’re being useful to the company or organization.
However, it’s not a bad idea to have “founder” on your business cards as well.