Advice for New CEOs from Sitting CEOs

  1. Deliver financial results – If you deliver on financials, then you will get the rope from your board and investors to pursue strategic If you don’t deliver on financials, people will be less interested in your strategic vision for the company and more interested in how you are going to fix financials.
  2. Create your story for the company – Why does it exist? What is its purpose? What is its history and how does your future vision for the company tie to that?
  3. Recognize the importance of the words you choose – Everyone is watching what you say and You have outsize influence – the potential for motivation and impact is higher now but so is the danger of unintended messages that might cause setbacks.
  4. Get close to your board – Spend time with each member
  5. Be balanced in your communications with the board – Start with bad The board does not want to be sold – can damage your credibility.
  6. Spend time with key customers – Listen to them and tell your story for the company
  7. Get close to key investors – Spend time with them, face-to-face if Tell the company story.
  8. Address any changes that need to be made to your team Focus on the values of the team members more than their capabilities. A key test of values is how effectively they work with their peers and how effectively they work with their own teams. When you need to make changes, wherever possible, move up key talent rather than bringing in talent from the outside – sends a better signal to the organization.
  9. Match your approach to the situation. A turnaround requires quick and decisive action and a sense of hope. A “good to great” assignment requires a more detailed understanding of obstacles and the need to raise ambitions. There will be ‘seasons’ during your tenure, adapt your approach to the changing circumstances of the
  10. Focus on what is good for the customer – It is a way to unite and motivate
  11. Recognize that you are uniquely responsible for three things – 1) The organization’s culture; 2) The organization’s talent; 3) Resource allocation.
  12. Create a plan to sustain yourself and sustain your relationship with your
  13. Develop one or two trusted relationships with people who you can rely on for unvarnished conversations about the
  14. Give yourself permission to say ‘No’ – New CEOs get a lot of asks to get involved in You can’t say no to everything, but if you are not selective you will get overcommitted.