Recently the CEO of Drift, David Cancel asked a great question on Linkedin – “So for all of my CEO friends here, what tools do you use most? What is in your learning stack?”
- Some focused on places where they were learning / consuming content
- Biographies of other CEO’s (which I love)
- And then people started to getting into real TOOLS, and I started writing them all down, excited to try out some new things.
So for you CEO’s out there – this blog post is sharing the most promising responses to David’s post, some basic ones first from my point of view as a marketing focused CEO, and then mixed in are a few CEO tools / SAAS products that I’ve used in my leadership role at Hook.
Let’s get a few basic ones out of the way:
- Google Ads Platform, Google Analytics, Search Console. I love tying these together through Google Data Studio and then combining with other data through API’s, integrations and spreadsheets to get a ‘business dashboard’ together.
- Hootsuite or Buffer – For when your too small to have a full social marketing crew around you yet, schedule on the go with the Buffer Google Chrome extension.
- Salesforce, Hubspot or Pipedrive – Some kind of CRM, which one is best is outside the topic of this discussion, but Salesforce is on the bigger company side, Hubspot has more marketing focus, and Pipedrive is simple to implement and maintain.
- Slack – Communicate with your team!
- Mailchimp – Marketing messages, I also like to have a list built out with all current clients in case of communication that needs to hit their inboxes.
- Monday.com or Wrike – To be fair, I spend no time in our project management system – but it’s good to have a basic knowledge of it, and to delegate.
- Ahrefs or SEMRush – Not only can you get a list of your top keywords and where they rank on a day-to-day basis, but looking at what competitors are ranking for a is nice from an R&D and just market knowledge perspective.
- Quickbooks Online – Pay and get paid.
- Zoom or Google Meets – Video chat with your team and clients.
- Upwork, Linkedin Jobs – For hiring – Upwork for remote freelancers and Linkedin Jobs for salaried positions and contractors.
Some of the best answers I found that are a little less basic
- Gong – Identify shifting sentiment in the market, get deal intelligence, and manage your sales team remotely.
- Gusto – Amazing tools for payroll, benefits, and make taxes easier!
- Read it for me – or – Blinkist – Book summaries in a couple pages, or as audio (Blinkist).
- HBR management note of the day for Alexa –
- Masterclass – Classes on everything from Copywriting to Negotiation from experts.
- Crystal Knows – Employee personality testing and insights for how to lead.
- Peakon – Measure employee engagement and success, allowing leaders to get feedback and interact with the data.
- Narrative Science – Data driven dashboards with an emphasis on freeing you up to tell stories not just relay data.
- Miro – Really easy online mind mapping tool.
- Lighthouse – 1 on 1 meeting software to keep track of where your people are and what you talked about / action item followup.
- Meditation apps Calm, Headspace, or Waking Up – Meditation is huge for slowing down your brain and being present.
- A lot of other people mentioned Biography’s of CEO’s as a type of tool – so I’m bringing in some of the most well regarded ones for those who want to check some out.
Best Biographies of CEO’s
- Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson – Very powerfully written, doesn’t pull any punches. A story of sacrafice and at times singularly intense leadership.
- Shoe Dogs, Phil Knight and Nike – Had no idea the story of Nike was so interesting! Very well written, entertaining and tons of great anecdotes and leadership advice. (Not to mention, strategic partnerships – ie. MJ!)
- Elon Musk, by Ashlee Vance – Great insights into Musk whether you’re a fan or not and his many ventures / his engineering background and what drives him.
- Pour Your Heart Into It – Howard Schultz of Starbucks – I have not read this one but it looks awesome and several lists I consulted have suggested it.
- The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and Amazon by Brad Stone – The niching into books first, the obsession with customer service, and obviously pushing the bar on what’s expected from Ecommerce brands all make this story a page turner.
I would absolutely love to hear about more tools for CEO’s – so if you have some, throw them in the comments!