Getting Comfortable Between ‘Yes’ and ‘No’: An Important Lesson for Startup CEOs

There are CEOs who say "yes" to nearly everything, those who prioritize and say "no" -- and, of course, leaders who fall somewhere in between. In a post earlier today on Fast Company, I discuss the pros and cons of each style and lessons I've learned as a startup CEO myself. The byline is excerpted below, but be sure to check out the entire article over at Fast Company:

Maybe it’s not a question startup CEOs ask themselves, at least not explicitly: Am I a "Yes Man" or a "No Man"? Am I more inclined to encourage growth in all directions, or would I rather my team prioritize only the most important initiatives? Well, the answer hints at your personality, your previous job experiences, and the bosses you’ve worked with.

My leadership style has been influenced by a number of executives I’ve admired over the years--Dave Duffield, Ben Horowitz, Parker Harris--but none more than Marc Benioff, whom I worked for while heading up engineering at for more than six years. Marc’s known for saying "yes" to almost everything. He’d rather encourage a lot of disparate ideas and see what works, instead of risking saying "no" to one that could ultimately turn into something great. (Case in point: They announced a number of new products at last week’s Dreamforce, one of which is competitive to my company’s product.)