The Hard Thing About Hard Things Book Cover

The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Book by: Ben Horowitz
Publishing Year: 2014
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What’s inside

Building a business requires a lot of patience and skills. Do great CEOs have inborn skills or do they learn to grow into them? How do they deal with all the pressure? This book shows that being a CEO is the most difficult task in the world.

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Lesson 1. Introduction.

 

CEOs face a lot of pressure in their work lives. In most cases, the CEO becomes completely responsible for the success or failure of a company. In this book, the author, Ben Horowitz, focuses on how a CEO faces various problems within a company. There are situations where you as a CEO must step up and involve your people to make the right decisions. 

There are certain ways to hire and fire people, to face the pressure and be a great CEO, to build a successful organization, and even to sell your company. In the book, the author gives various steps to practice on how to become a good CEO. 

Lesson 2. Facing the pressure.

 

Every CEO dreams about running a successful company. Unfortunately, no company performs smoothly, since crises will become a part of the developing business. For example, every company faces both macro and micro issues like financial crises, the best customer going bankrupt, and so on. 

This is where the CEOs meet ‘The Struggle’ that happens when dreams of success become reality. Every CEO faces ‘The Struggle’ which includes a lot of stress and impossible decisions. This ‘struggle’ and stress has a deep effect on the entire life of a CEO, from the physical and mental health to career and also his social relationships. Ultimately, it is the CEO who gets credit for the company’s success or gets fired due to its failure. 

 

Here are a few strategies to overcome ‘The Struggle’:

  1. Even though the burden of ‘The Struggle’ falls on the CEO the most, it is important to avoid bearing the pressure alone.

 

  1. During a crisis, you should try and involve yourself with as many people as possible. Whenever you feel you are trapped on all sides and there is no way to come out of it, you should try to be creative. 

 

  1. As a CEO, you should understand that dealing with your mental health is the biggest challenge. You might feel alone or face personal psychological problems during ‘The Struggle’. But, it’s important to keep a sane mind and stay strong in the process.

Lesson 3. Be honest about your problems.

 

It is essential, to be honest, and open about various problems within the company so that the team members can work on it, rather than only the CEO and other authorities stressing about it. When the company is facing challenges, discussing them with your employees is essential to succeed later on. 

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About the author

Ben Horowitz Image

Ben Horowitz, an influential entrepreneur and investor, shares his wealth of experience and wisdom in “The Hard Thing About Hard Things.” Through candid insights and practical advice, Horowitz unravels the complexities of running a startup, offe...

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The Hard Thing About Hard Things Book Cover
Chapter List
  • Lesson 1. Introduction.
  • Lesson 2. Facing the pressure.
  • Lesson 3. Be honest about your problems.
  • Lesson 4. Announcing layoffs and firing employees. 
  • Lesson 5. Secrets of building a successful organization.
  • Lesson 6. What makes you a great CEO?
  • Lesson 7. Selling the company.
  • Lesson 8. Conclusion. 
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FAQs

In the summary of The Hard Thing About Hard Things book, there are 8 key lessons. These lessons include:

  1. Lesson 1. Introduction.
  2. Lesson 2. Facing the pressure.
  3. Lesson 3. Be honest about your problems.
  4. Lesson 4. Announcing layoffs and firing employees. 
  5. Lesson 5. Secrets of building a successful organization.
  6. Lesson 6. What makes you a great CEO?
  7. Lesson 7. Selling the company.
  8. Lesson 8. Conclusion. 

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz was published in 2014.

Once you've completed The Hard Thing About Hard Things book, We suggest reading out Setting High Bar for your Customer Service as a great follow-up read.

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