Why Every Employee Should Think Like a CEO

January 7, 2017, 4:00 PM UTC
Businesswoman working in large office with glass wall
Businesswoman working in large office with glass wall
Mark Edward Atkinson/Tracey Lee—Getty Images

The Entrepreneur Insiders network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in America’s startup scene contribute answers to timely questions about entrepreneurship and careers. Today’s answer to the question “How do you build a strong team?” is written by Hari Ravichandran, founder and CEO of Endurance International.

The concept of team-building isn’t always the easiest for entrepreneurs to grasp—at least not in the beginning days of startup life.

Entrepreneurs are usually self-motivated to follow their passion projects and be their own bosses. With that independent spirit comes the tendency to rely more on themselves than the people around them. As a result, they end up being responsible for everything from finances to product development, marketing, technology, and even taking out the trash.

As my company began to grow, I quickly learned that relying only on my own expertise wasn’t a sustainable practice, and that ultimately, leveraging (and trusting) the diversity of knowledge and passion among a strong team is what would bring future scale and success.

Here are some tips for building a strong team:

Look for diverse thinking
At Endurance, we were initially looking for people who were talented and could join to execute the existing business plan. But as time went on and the business scaled, we realized that we needed more than just reliable people to implement the strategy. As employees started asking questions and pointing out how things could be done differently, we began to see the benefits of having bright, well-rounded colleagues who could bring new ideas to the table.

See also: The Best Way to Build a Successful Team

Entrepreneurs can benefit greatly from the knowledge of others who think like CEOs in their own right. For example, we recently hired an executive who was a founder and CEO of his own company, which he then sold. He now runs our international business.


We now look for people who really understand the “owner” mindset, and we view it as an asset to our internal teams and to our customers—most of whom are entrepreneurs themselves. Ultimately, it’s our responsibility to give employees the flexibility and tools they need to succeed.

Work together
Hiring the right employees is only one step of the process to building a strong team. The harder part is getting people to work collaboratively. Having smart, empowered, and creative teams led to the creation of our company values, which serve as a guide when it comes to bringing on new talent.

We want to find people who embody these values and can help us create a culture that can’t be replicated anywhere else. We want tenacious, resourceful, and honest employees who truly believe in what we can accomplish.

Our key challenge now is making sure that we keep employees engaged and excited to be a part of this collaborative process, combined with an entrepreneurial mindset and background.

Never lose the spirit of independence that being an entrepreneur provides. But be sure to surround yourself with those who cooperatively share that outlook.

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