When to Step Back as CEO | James Routledge, Founder of Sanctus

Season #2 Episode #9

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What would make a founder give up their role as CEO? My guest, James Routledge, is the founder of Sanctus—a company that offers coaching services to businesses to support employee mental health.

In this episode, James walks us through his decision to step back from the CEO role, he explains why he decided not to hire a COO, and we discuss how ego can lead us to unhappiness.

This is genuinely one of my favourite episodes, and a must-listen if you’re a CEO scaling your business.


Key links:

Sanctus website: https://sanctus.io/

James Routledge profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jdroutledge1/

Dave Bailey profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davesuperman/


Key timestamps:

[02:29] How does it feel to see Sanctus scale?

[06:21] What techniques helped you develop self-awareness?

[09:24] What need does Sanctus address?

[13:36] Why did you step down as CEO?

[21:40] How to you separate the roles of CEO and founder?

[26:45] Why are VC-backed founders less likely to consider their own fulfilment?

[33:55] Why did you choose not to hire a COO?

[36:41] The gap in strategy and leadership in tech

[39:49] Quickfire questions


Thanks to Nabil and George for help researching the episode. 


Strategy is a core role of a scale-up CEO and key to a company's success. Yet many CEOs don't dedicate enough time and resource to it. If you'd like my help in clarifying your vision and strategy, apply for my Clarity Program.


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