4 Benefits of Reporting Directly to the CEO : Under30CEO 4 Benefits of Reporting Directly to the CEO : Under30CEO
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4 Benefits of Reporting Directly to the CEO

| June 29, 2010 | 5 Comments

job ladderIt’s been said before that if you want to be successful you should surround yourself with like-minded people. I can’t remember who said it, possibly Ben Huh. But the advice was “if you want to be an entrepreneur and need to have a day job, then you should try to find a role where you report directly to the CEO.” That was solid advice in my mind and I have found myself in that exact situation.

4 Benefits of Reporting Directly to the CEO

Connections: The other day the advantages of reporting directly the CEO became very apparent to me. My CEO is part of an organization of CEO’s called Vistage and one of the recent chairs was there visiting him. It turned out that this person was looking for some advice on blogging and social media and my CEO said “talk to Srini, he knows about this stuff.” It turned out that not only was this guy a chair of vistage, but a prominent speaker, and consultant to many large companies. I realized that while I could help him with social media, the real opportunity was working with somebody who’d accomplished many of the things that were on my list of goals. This opportunity might have never surfaced if I wasn’t reporting directly to the CEO.

Mentorship: While my CEO isn’t my formal mentor, watching his management style has really influenced how I approach things. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from his management style, it’s that allowing people to operate on their own terms, within the context of some structure results in some of their best work. It also leads to much happier employees.

Your Best Ideas Make the Cut: Another major advantage of reporting directly to the CEO is that your best ideas have a soundboard at the very top of the ladder. That means your best ideas get heard, get implemented, and you’re recognized for your contribution much more than if you have 20 layers of bureaucracy between you and the top management in your organization.

Enhanced Growth Potential: By reporting directly to the CEO your potential for growth in an organization is enhanced significantly. As I said earlier in this post, you really are eventually a byproduct of the people you surround yourself with. So not only will you be reporting to the CEO, you’ll be aligned with almost everybody else in upper management within your organization. So you don’t just get to learn from one experienced manager, but many.

These are just a few of the benefits of reporting directly to the CEO. However, one thing I would say is make sure you pick the right CEO. If you are reporting to somebody who is completely ego driven and a control freak , then they will be threatened by your ideas. The fact is that good leaders are not threatened by people who know more than them. In fact the best leaders will surround themselves with people who can enhance their own knowledge.

Srinivas Rao obsesses over riding waves and finding life lessons through the sport of surfing at The Skool of Life. He’s also the host and co-founder of BlogcastFM, a podcast for bloggers. Follow him on Twitter @skooloflife

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  • http://www.experienceengineer.com/ Erik Posthuma

    I think your comment on making sure it's the right kind of CEO is very important. I have reported to a CEO in the past and a CEO currently. Both of them are awesome at what they do and leaders in their field. Both of them are also completely different from one another and I have been fortunate enough to be able to learn from both. It's important to choose the right CEO for you and set out from the start or you'll have a miserable an non developing time ahead.

    Remember, in the end we're all working for ourselves. (Thanks Seth! :) )

    Nice post.

  • srinirao


    Great point about the fact that we're all working for ourselves. In my first job out of college, I didn't report directly to the CEO, but had alot of exposure to him. He was arrogant, ego-driven and fired every single person who challenged him. Later the board fired him and I don't think the company ever really succeeded. Regardless of whether you can report to the CEO or not, the person you chose as your boss makes a huge difference in your ability to succeed.

  • http://itarsenal.com/ Rob

    Right on about connections! Having the right relationship with a CEO or anyone with more experience and power opens doors. I've been recommended for work outside my typical job from within my office, which is something I never thought would happen. The interactions you get to observe by reporting directly to a CEO are incredibly valuable, if not for anything but how certain situations flow, and where you can assert yourself or draw back. It's good practice for being your own CEO.

    PS. Great reverse review of looking at being hired for a job, or “choosing your boss”

  • srinirao


    Thanks for the comments. I guess I never even realized the reverse view that this approach really takes. But it gives me an idea for a new post called “Hiring Your First Boss” or something along those lines. I agree its' great practice for being your own CEO which is a path I think many of us are headed down.