4 Quick Ways to Fail as the New CEO

If you’re reading this, most likely you’ve decided to take a job as CEO at a new company. Congrats!

It’s a huge step in your career and not a transition that should be taken lightly. Especially if there is no formal integration process, there is a steep learning curve for you to overcome in your new role.

Here is what NOT to do when starting your new executive job:

1 - Ignore the people

 You are their new boss and they may not know you, especially if you are from outside the company. They have developed a culture in the workplace, and they may expect to be able to see you outside of work and have you ask them how their kids are. People are going to be more productive when they are happy and are happy when they feel valued.

At CIS, we are constantly talking about the example of a door lock. You’d think installing one isn’t that big of a change, right? Wrong! In this example, employees went from having a boss with a constantly open door to one that locked him in. He didn’t take the time to get to know the people and the culture, which resulted in several key employees leaving the company.

Take the time to understand the dynamic of your new office. It could be the difference between success and failure.

2  - Do too much too quick

Seems like you have a lot on your plate, right? New executive position, maybe a new company to help run, etc. You are going to need to prioritize your objectives and remember that your peers are testing you.

If you try to do everything at once, you’ll end up hurting yourself rather than helping. Everyone appreciates that you are going into your new role with enthusiasm, but that enthusiasm can’t be spread out over the entire company.

3 - Not communicate your vision

Let each respective department head know what you envision for the future, and then work towards implementing that vision. Your employees need to know that what you are having them do has an end goal.

Monitor company chats and other methods of communication. There may be employees that have some questions about what you are doing, and this is a prime opportunity to share why you are doing it. Don’t do things just for the sake of doing something.

4 - Ignore offered help

Unfortunately, people don’t know everything. If that were the case, the writer of this piece would have invested in a lot more bitcoin. In your new role, you are traveling into unfamiliar territory. Most companies have some sort of onboarding process, but not all of them to it well(see “Survive and Advance”).

Take the time to talk to as many people as possible about the dynamic of your new company. Odds are the Chief HR Officer will be your best friend in the process. Read the bottom part of this link for some more great information.

Mark Thompson left the BBC to take over The New York Times Company, traveling into unfamiliar territory for him.  He was the first external CEO at the Times in over a century, but made an effort to meet as many people as he could and get as much help as possible. This is the type of person that will be the most successful in a new CEO position.

“Just because you are CEO, don’t think you have landed. You must continually increase your learning, the way you think, and the way you approach the organization. I’ve never forgotten that.”

Indra Nooyi, PepsiCO

All of these items are crucial to being effective and lasting in your role.  At CIS, we have experience facilitating the onboarding of executives through our TRaX suite of products. Want to learn more about how we do it or chat about this article? Drop us an email at [email protected] or call us at 501-420-4194.

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