Wartime CEO vs. Peacetime CEO

Wartime CEO vs. Peacetime CEO

What's the difference between a Wartime CEO and a Peacetime CEO?

This is a concept that I learned from Ben Horowitz’s great book, The Hard Thing About Hard Things.

It’s difficult to be in charge, we know this, but even more so when you realize that it’s the context that dictates the skills required. It’s much different to be a Wartime CEO--one that’s under the stress of a proxy fight, contemplating huge layoffs, recalibrating the a stagnant strategy or witnessing a slide in stock price--than a Peacetime CEO--one that’s ramping up quickly, hiring new talent, opening a new manufacturing location, or making acquisitions.

These are two different skill sets. Reflecting on my time running Tribe Pictures, I’ve seen both “wartime” and “peacetime,” and am only now realizing how and when to activate certain skills so I can handle both.

What's the difference for you, and what's your approach to handling wartime vs. peacetime? Let us know.