CEOs Are People, Too

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We Know That CEOs Are People, Like You

It may seem too simplistic to say that ‘CEOs are people, too, but Indra Nooyi basically did and she would know. Ms. Nooyi grew Pepsico into a global giant in the food and beverage industry over her 12-year tenure that ended this year. A key takeaway from her quote is that it is important to remember that not all leaders are the same. There are all types of leaders such as enigmatic entrepreneurs and business magnates like Elon Musk or Martha Stewart. Genius innovators like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, do not seem to resemble Warren Buffet or Bill Gates, for example. Or, do they?

tempCFO has worked with some of the most innovative and successful small and medium-sized companies in the world. We have partnered, from seed to exit, with startups, emerging high-growth companies and established enterprises. The transformational change in people’s day-to-day existence and future that companies like Glooko or Learnup have been able to come about in unique ways, but succeed with one critical advantage—exceptional leadership.

We have learned a few things in our time working with startups and growth companies about CEOs that we thought you would find informative and interesting. Be sure to tell us if you agree or disagree in the comments section below.

Since we are numbers people at tempCFO, let’s get into how to measure CEOs.

Measuring CEOs By (More Than) The Numbers

We know that it takes more than one role to change the game in healthcare, education and industry, but we often measure the impact of an exceptional leader by what their company and its talent are able to achieve under their leadership. Here are a few examples of ways CEOs are measured.

The incredible 370% growth in 2018 by Survata, a brand intelligence platform, founded by Chris Kelly in 2012. The rapid growth of ad measurement business for the company prompted the creation of a new role and attracted top talent to the newly minted, president of ad management at Survata.

MOOC Coursera was created by Professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller in 2012. Today, the online learning giant offers 3,600 online courses, professional certificates, master degree level courses, and online degrees to millions of users around the world. Coursera partners with elite academic institutions like Princeton, Stanford, and Yale and major industry players like IBM and Google.

What these incredible success stories tell us is that successful leaders do not give up on inspired ideas born out of real life experience. These game-changing platforms were brought to the world by CEOs and the talent that they inspire to work with them in bettering our world. And, these companies all outsourced their accounting.

No wonder, that what makes a CEO great is an important area of research in business management and entrepreneurship fields. Fortunate for us, there has been some work done to characterize a successful CEO by some pretty smart people.

There are seven personality traits most successful CEOs have in common according to a recent study published in the Harvard Business Review. We will list them out in bold and give our interpretation based on the CEOs we have worked with in italics.

  1. Curiosity or a willingness to be wrong.
  2. Purpose or a belief that what they are creating has meaning.
  3. Risk takers or a willingness to fail in order to get it right.
  4. Organized thinker or an ability to prioritize.
  5. Clear communicator or someone who is understood by everyone.
  6. Realistic optimism or belief that the perfect solution can be / will be found.
  7. Vision or the ability to see where the market is headed, and listen to the feedback of others simultaneously.


Something that all startup leaders hear a lot is that getting from day one to over 300 percent growth in a year takes a lot of hard work and a great team. It is possible, with help. That is where outsourcing can be one of a startup CEO’s smartest decisions (before lunch).

Smart CEOs Outsource (And We Love That About Them)

A huge part of why we love what we do are the amazing teams that great CEOs build. We bring the visibility that CEOs in startups must have to make well-informed decisions. A tempCFO team becomes an outsourced member of a startup CEOs executive team when it’s time to raise capital. We have the experience and capacity to implement critical controls over the company’s assets and extend a startups burn rate.

A competitive advantage that our client CEOs see by outsourcing accounting to tempCFO is the time they can devote to their talent and to their vision without compromising management of the business financials or relationships with current and future investors. Today, tempCFO clients will gain the financial technology of inDinero. Startup CEOs looking for an advisor and a real partner with expertise in the startup environment and growth business space are tempCFO’s favorite kind of people.

We want your CEO to experience the competitive advantage so many other startups and SMB CEOs have relied on. Call us today.

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