1. Stress of the role is real.  An outlet needs to be created  to relieve the stress.  For me it’s been running and more recently yoga. 
  2. Action vs. Strategy: I get a lot of fulfillment by checking off items from my to-do list, like ‘call this customer VP for our sales team.’ But the role of CEO is about impacting change over a longer window. Don’t fall victim to ‘task-itis.’
  3. Culture is super important. Easy to define what you want, but a whole lot harder to actually bring to life in a consistent manner.  It’s super clear what matters to me and when it isn’t evidenced, it hurts deeply.  Embrace this and don’t be  apologetic. Champion and act boldy. 
  4. Weaknesses: I need to force myself to spend adequate time in areas that aren’t my strong suit.  I know I need to be conscious of this and regularly assess my calendar/ensure key parts of business are not slighted. An important tool for me has been to color code my calendar. It’s very effective in quickly assessing if I am giving all parts of the business proper attention.
  5. Separation: It’s ok to take personal time out of the office. Mental space is important. Create time to think about issues that are 6-12 months out. If it’s best done at a coffee shop, walking, or during yoga, commit time to do it and do it where you are most effective.
  6. Hiring can’t be rushed. And make no apologies about wanting to be involved in the hiring of key roles by your leaders. The cost of a bad or failed hire is significant, so commit to helping your team define the role clearly, map out an interview team and identify critical questions for each member of the team to ask during the hiring process, and engage in an effective process to share feedback.
  7. Feedback is important and best delivered regularly.  Commit time to give feedback. Something that is equally important is to commit time to receive feedback from those around you. Ask for it. Take the time to allow it to be given constructively.
  8. Tools: My management toolkit is pretty deep. Leverage it and stick with it.Weekly Top 5/1 on 1s/quarterly MBO process/operating reviews/feedback model
  9. Smoke: Where there's smoke, there's fire.  Always!  Move quick and when you think you’re moving fast, move even faster.  Trust your instincts. They have served you well throughout your career.
  10. Advisors: Mentors/sounding boards are a must. Keep this channel alive and active. The more it’s active, the more the opportunity for them to help will present themselves.

About The Author

Jay is the President and CEO of Health Data Vision, Inc. He is a seasoned software and services executive with over 25 years of experience in various leadership capacities, including his most recent position as Chief Revenue Officer at Guidance Software. Jay holds his MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business along with a bachelor’s degree in economics from Connecticut College.