How to Embrace the Role of CEO

CEOs perform a variety of functions for companies in general. In managed IT services especially, executive team members are accustomed to wearing multiple hats and juggling different tasks from their previous technical experience. In a market where, as the leader of the company, you’re expected to be all things to all people, how can you successfully take a step away from your tech role and embrace the role of CEO? 

On a recent episode of MSP Radio, Joe and I were joined by Chris Hoose, CEO of Choose Networks. Chris shared some important advice on how to lead an MSP business as CEO, and how to pull back from other duties to work on the business rather than in it.

A Winning MSP Business

Earlier this month, it was announced that Chris won this year’s Robin Robins “Better Your Best,” contest, a competition between MSPs that focuses on how they leverage marketing to gain new business and become more profitable.

Chris shared with us his thoughts on what it meant to win this contest, as well as what has allowed Choose Networks to achieve such great results as a business over the years.

“To be able to win that contest is to be able to give everyone in the audience something that they could use within their business to get similar results. Even though the presentation is the publicly visible aspect of Robin Robins’ ‘Better Your Best’ competition, it’s really been an experience over a three-year journey; learning how to market our company and turn opportunities into customers. And I think we were able to come out on top because of three years of hard work and fast-paced organic growth. That journey is the real prize.”

From Tech Expert to CEO

Later in the episode, Chris goes on to share what it means to be a great CEO in the managed services market. Below are his thoughts on how he defines his role, what core responsibilities he now has how, and how this has evolved over the years.

“Today, I’ve really embraced the CEO role. I fired myself as a tech back in 2000, so my roles are now more ‘visionary’ and ‘cheerleader for culture.’ I think the most important responsibility I have is that I live and teach my core values. Our culture is our number one asset, and those core values are the number one driver of our culture. I take time every month during an all-hands meeting, where we talk about our purpose and our core values just to keep all of those top of mind, and I think that’s the true role of a CEO.

This has certainly changed over the years. I started out as a one-man shop where everything in the company was my responsibility. When I first started having employees, I was the technical lead—everything difficult or every question filtered up through me. And as the company grew and I had people that were more intelligent than I am and knew more technical than I did, I could shed each one of those roles one at a time. I think that’s just natural progression; as you grow, you relinquish some of those responsibilities to others.”

To hear even more of from Chris and learn how he has structured his team for success, you can listen to the full episode here.


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