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At the Heart of The Matter: 6 CEOs Share What They Love Most About Their Jobs
May 4, 2015

At the Raffoni Group’s last Annual CEO Summit, I asked the participating members to share what they love most about being a CEO. Here are some of their candid responses...

Ted Nelson, CEO, Mechanica

I love being a CEO because it allows me to creatively shape an environment, capability and team. I love motivating and inspiring our employees. Even though I work extremely hard, I am empowered by an unbeatable level of control over the destiny and reality of myself and others. I love making the most of the opportunities that reside at the intersection of business and personal life. I love having a focus area capable of constructively absorbing all my energy.

Ken Lazarus, CEO, Scout

I love being a CEO because it is a challenging job with many rewards. The challenges are fun in that, with the start-ups, I’m driving the creation of a new business. Most everything needs to be figured out: The product offering, go-to-market strategy, business model, etc. Also, you need to build a team, create a culture, and set goals to execute. The knowledge and sense of accomplishment that comes with meeting these challenges, fixing problems and achieving goals is very rewarding. It also is rewarding to provide meaningful fun jobs, and end up with big communities of employees who have become friends and benefited from what you’ve built.

Peter Tallas, CEO, Charm Medical

I love being a CEO because I enjoy impacting the lives of my customers and employees. This is my first CEO position and while stressful, it has been more rewarding than I imagined. I love the challenge, as well as the freedom that goes with the job. Watching the company grow and building a team has been great. Offering products that are key to the well-being of our customers is very satisfying.

Gordie Spader, CEO, Kurgo

I love being a CEO because I enjoy touching all aspects of the business. I like to understand the levers that can be pulled to create a successful company. I also enjoy getting out to sell what we have developed. I enjoy the idea that I have created an entity out of nothing through hard work, great ideas and good decisions (as well as some bad ones). As a CEO I feel passionate about what we do because I have had the opportunity to decide what we will become and to control my destiny. I like the idea that success lies within my hands. And I love getting a new customer and hearing testimonials from consumers who love our product.

Dave MacKeen, CEO, Eliassen Group

I love being a CEO because I have the ability to positively impact the lives of our clients, employees, and the communities we operate in. I can influence the direction of the company and create a legacy for those I work with. My desire is that people look back at their experience with Eliassen Group, and me, as one in which they were successful, where they felt they could make a difference and they developed, both personally and professionally. I also have the ability to learn and meet people that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to do. I love being a CEO because I can realize my passions for the business and industry and have the ability to control my happiness and success, to an extent. For me, CEO is just a title and is meaningless. It’s more about being part of a high-performing team and building an environment and culture of high performance.

Mike Dreese, CEO, Newbury Comics

I love being CEO because I have great freedom to visualize the future and act on that vision. I can choose who I allow to surround me. I meet thoughtful, brilliant folks all the time. I have an impact on the community around me as mentor and teacher, but I’m ever learning, ever risking. I love the thrill of the chase, the adrenaline of both failure and gained successes. I have a puzzle to solve every day, month, year, and decade. Moments of frustrations, buried by vivid adventures of every kind. Optimism realized! Gate keeping the hours of life to the exit ramp. Unsafe at any speed, but usually in control. Being a change agent and supporter of others. What a life to live!

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