Rebel Intrapreneur
Rebel Intrapreneur
041 How I learned to be a baby CEO

041 How I learned to be a baby CEO

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The organization had an urgent need, and I volunteered to take on a general manager role to turn around a flailing SaaS business, even though I was terrified it might lead to my firing if I failed. It turned out to be one of the best experiences of my career. 

At some point during the first three to six months, I started getting past the “survival” aspect of my new GM role and got to the realization that I was a sort of CEO of this business. I call it a baby CEO. I had the pressure of the P&L, but not of making payroll. BIG difference. But there I was, a baby CEO, and I realized that if I wanted to be successful, I had to learn to be a CEO. So I read a lot of books about being a CEO and written by CEOs.  

I read some good ones. Learned a ton. And I thought, since I’ve done two other episodes on how rebel intrapreneurs can become CEOs, that I would share the list of books I read for my personal education. I am not saying you should read these books. Just that these books helped me, and how they might help you.

So here they are: The 8 books I read that helped me be a better baby CEO. 

(Links to each book are affiliate links. So if you want to support the podcast please use the links below. Otherwise, just go search for these books separately). 

The Five Temptations of a CEO: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni: 

The Rookie CEO: You Can't Make This stuff Up by Bill Miller: 

The Great CEO Within: The Tactical Guide to Company Building by Matt Mochary, Alex MacCaw, Misha Talavera: 

The CEO Only Does Three Things by Trey Taylor: 

How to Become CEO: The Rules for Rising to the Top of Any Organization by Jeffrey J. Fox: 

Survival to Thrival: Building the Enterprise Startup by Bob Tinker and Tae Hea Hahm: 

Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up by Jerry Colonna: 

CEO Excellence: The Six Mindsets That Distinguish the Best Leaders from the Rest by Carolyn Dewar, Scott Keller, Vikram Malhotra: 

Today’s episode is brought to you by Figma. Two important tools of the Rebel Intrapreneur are the business model canvas and the value proposition canvas. Figma has templates for both, so you can design your innovation projects fast. I used the value proposition canvas template to design the listener profile and value map for this show. Try Figma for free

More about Bill:



Podcast website:

Bill’s book: The Art of Agile Marketing: A Practical Roadmap for Implementing Kanban and Scrum in Jira and Confluence

Bill Cushard Rebel Intrapreneur

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Rebel Intrapreneur
Rebel Intrapreneur
Rebel Intrapreneur is a podcast about a new category of high performing employee. Rebel intrapreneurs further the mission of an organization while simultaneous challenging the system from within. Founders and entrepreneurs are thirsty to find people who believe in their mission as much as they do, and pursue that mission relentlessly. Rebel Intrapreneur is hosted by Bill Cushard, who has reported directly to founder/CEOs four times in his career, which makes him an ideal guide on your intrapreneurial journey.