Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley took the stage at a Northside Festival in Brooklyn with his CEO coach, Jerry Colonna.A lot of young CEOs have a mentor who instructs them on how to be the face of a company — especially when the company has a whopping $600 million+ valuation.
Inc wrote up the conversation, but the general gist was this:
It’s ok for startup CEOs to be “scared sh*tless sometimes.”
“Somehow, people sometimes think that admitting they don’t have a clue will get them fired,” Colonna told the audience after asking if they had ever been terrified as CEO.
“I encourage people to own up to the fact that they’re figuring it out, that you’re inventing new things, and that sometimes you’re going to get it wrong. When you admit it, it makes it OK. No one has gone to school to be a CEO–you don’t learn this except by getting in there and figuring it out.”
Crowley agreed and says he’s had to learn on the job. “Running a successful start-up is no walk in the park…The more I talk with other folks from start-ups, I learn we’re all going through the same stuff.”