Looking at this process from an owner/founder’s point-of-view the appointment of CEO in these circumstances is a huge and scary psychological journey. One part of a founder’s brain likes to think that they are indispensable. Depending on the founder, another part of their brain may be worried about what this new person will uncover. Yet another reaction will be an identity crisis as the most important anchor of their self-image is handed to someone else. And finally, this is not just any old business – this is the founder’s baby. As a founder, you almost inevitably had a very painful birthing experience and have been on a roller-coaster of highs and lows to get to the point where you could even consider handing your now adolescent off-spring to someone else.
Martin is a superb (probably the best) example of a CEO who has navigated this minefield with huge success. In very brief summary, it seemed to involve a huge degree of tact, empathy, personal chemistry, very disciplined strategic focus, inspired team-building and possibly very large quantities of wine….