Insights from Dana
The Leadership Leap: How to Move from Boss to CEO

Being the boss of your business is keeping you from becoming the CEO your company needs to grow.

It’s a hard truth to face, but you aren’t alone. We all start as the boss of our business. That was part of the point, right? To be your own boss?

When your company is in startup mode, that’s what you are. You’re self-employed. You’re “The Boss,” and the buck stops with you. You’re doing everything on your own because that’s what the first phase of business requires from you. But at a certain point in a business’s evolution, if you want to continue growing your company, you need to make the leadership leap from being the boss to being the CEO.

Because as “the boss,” you’re preoccupied with keeping your business afloat – and CEOs drive their companies forward with intention.

This is why being the boss of your business is keeping you from becoming the CEO your company needs. Because CEOs have different priorities and show up completely differently to lead their businesses.

The responsibility of the CEO is to own their role and responsibilities as:

#1: The Creative Visionary 

You need to have a clear vision of where you want your business to go and the strategic plan that will get you there. You are the leader forging a path to the future.


#2: The Face of the Business

As the CEO, you represent your business to potential clients, strategic partners, and the greater community. You need to show up as the face of your company to network, cultivate relationships, and nurture authentic connections that grow your business.


#3: The Conductor

You don’t just hold the vision; you need to inspire and lead your team with your vision. If you want to position yourself to become the CEO of your company, you need to: build an effective team, delegate effectively, and ensure everyone is on the same page and working together to achieve your goals.


Signs That You’re Ready to Shift from Boss to CEO

When you’re busy being the boss and your company needs a CEO – it shows. You just need to know how to read the symptoms. The most common sign is feeling stuck, and it might show up in any number of ways:

  • Your revenue hits a plateau
  • You don’t have enough time to work on projects essential to growing your business 
  • You’re constantly putting out fires or reacting to issues instead of bringing in more clients 
  • You know you need help, but you don’t have time to hire, train, or develop a team
  • You’re burnt out. You don’t have the capacity to do more than you already are

If you identify as the boss of your business after reading this list, write ‘boss’ in the comments. And get ready because it’s time to take your business to the next level.


Recognize the Need to Shift

These signs are symptoms that you and your business are at capacity. If you want to continue to grow your company, you need to delegate the day-to-day so you have time and energy to focus on the bigger picture. In short, you need to go from being the self-employed, self-declared boss who controls everything to showing up as the CEO who holds the vision, sets the course, and delegates the details to a team they trust to deliver results.

Going from Boss to CEO requires you to get shit off your plate and develop a staff and leadership team to support you by dialing in on operations. This will give you the space and time you need to step into and fully own your place at the head – and heart – of your business. 

As a high-strategy business coach who has been building businesses and mentoring industry leaders for decades, I guide my Catapult coaching clients through a two-pronged approach to transformation. The practical, nuts-and-bolts of how you DO things (Prong 1), these systems and processes become a doorway to personal development and growth (Prong 2), shifting your self-perception and how you show up as the leader of your company. 

Here are three steps to help you carve your own path from being the boss to being the CEO your company needs. 


Step 1: Create Time for Transformation by “Clearing Your Desk”

Once you recognize the need to shift, the next step is to create time in your schedule to do the work of making the shift from Boss and Business Owner to CEO. This phase will require you to let go of some tasks that you’ve been doing because they need to be done, but you don’t need to be the one who does them. 

The point of this step is to create more time and space for the work that lights you up, so you can do more of it. If you’re struggling to relinquish control or to identify tasks on your To Do List that you don’t need to do, dial into your zone of genius: what you’re passionate about and where you excel.

Then delegate the tasks outside of your passionate zone of genius to others. This will free up more time so you can stop micromanaging the minutiae and start showing up as your company’s Creative Visionary and CEO.

Click here for a step-by-step guide to clearing your desk and dialing into your zone of genius.


Step 2: Develop a Leadership Team to Focus on Operations

As the CEO, your job is to set the vision and delegate the tasks to others. Once you’ve “cleared your desk,” the next step is to start implementing the support you need to keep it clear. 

Beyond your immediate hiring needs, this also means you ultimately need to build a leadership team you can trust to handle the day-to-day operations. This team needs to be aligned and onboard with your vision and values, and more than capable of innovating solutions and executing the tasks required to achieve your goals.


Step 3: Shift Your Self-Perception

This personal development involves rewiring your internal operating system to shift how you perceive yourself, the world around you, what is possible, and what you’re capable of achieving. 

As you clear off your desk and create time to do the work, develop and support your team, and practice showing up as the CEO of your business, you’ll start thinking and acting more like one. While this is listed as the “last step,” it unfolds throughout this process as your perspective expands, shifting your identity from burnt-out boss to confident, capable CEO. 


Make the Move from Busy Boss to Badass CEO

Of course, this shift takes time. And if you’re anything like most business owners, you’re impatient to achieve your goals. If you want to get there faster, hire a mentor to help you navigate the path with ease. 

You’re willing to do the work. You just need someone who can lead you through rebuilding the infrastructure while rewiring your internal operating system to expand the possibilities you see for yourself and your company.

That’s what I do.

I’ve been an entrepreneur for almost forty years. I know what it’s like to be in your shoes. And I’ve coached hundreds of business owners to take back their time and elevate their leadership so they can make more money and lead a company and a life they love. 

Trust me when I say that making the shift from boss to CEO is the best thing you can do for yourself and your business. 

Take the first step towards becoming the CEO your company needs right now. Send me a message and find out if I’m the right coach to help you make the move from busy boss to Badass CEO.


dana corey signature

Like it? Share it!


Are You an Overloaded CEO?

Which of the 5 Swamped Business Owner Syndromes is keeping you overly busy, stressed, and exhausted?

Take this personalized assessment to find your strategic next steps.