Biggest Mistakes of first-time CEOs

August 22, 2014 | By | Add a Comment

first-time-ceos

This is from consultant Edwin Miller who runs a company that offers values and other assessment tools to F1000 companies. I like this list as it shows important distinctions. It also shows what it takes to be effective. It is challenging and takes special talent and experience to step into this role. And of course I like #’s 14 and 15.

Yet, this is a great check list for anyone stepping into a new role in a complex company. How to best use this? Sit down with your mentor, coach, accountability partner or YPO forum and have them help assess the specifics you have or are doing in each of these areas.

In no particular order, here are the top 22 mistakes a CEO is likely to make:

  1. Does not begin to build a culture of accountability in the organization on day one
  2. Fails to keep their mouth closed and their ears and eyes open
  3. Does not build understanding, trust, and credibility with key stakeholders in the first three months on the job
  4. Over-promises and sets unrealistic expectations early in the game
  5. Makes decisions for change before having the understanding and credibility of the market, business, and people
  6. Drives changes too quickly and fails to understand how much change the business and culture can withstand
  7. Fails to establish a true vision and strategy working with the key stakeholders and employees of the company
  8. Complains and vents to the board and others about problems of the past versus talking about solutions
  9. Fails to drive a strategy and operating plan that creates a successful business model
  10. Over-hires talent without having the right understanding of the needed people, processes, and technology
  11. Fails to focus, focus, focus on the opportunities and key metrics and make the high impact moves to remove the unproductive pieces of the business
  12. Over-hires sales and marketing well ahead of a proven sales model
  13. Gets too involved in execution of the decisions versus leading the company to improve the execution
  14. Lets the ego of being CEO get in the way of being a leader with a servant’s heart
  15. Stops being self-aware, introspective, and continually working to improve who they are as a person, leader, and manager
  16. Becomes reactive in a tough situation based on pressure to succeed in the new role
  17. Loses balance in their life as a CEO when they need to exercise spirit, body, and mind
  18. Fails to accept that he or she cannot possibly know everything when no investor or board member expects that of any CEO
  19. Fails to find some strong mentors who can provide insight and accountability
  20. Finds him/herself looking at numbers and emails instead of being with customers and staff
  21. Is either too right brained or too left brained when a CEO must strike a balance, either in him/herself or through the team
  22. Is too hard on people as the expectations for success are very high

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About the Author (Author Profile)

Executive coach, top team facilitator, author and speaker. I work with individual leaders and their teams to help navigate personal and professional transitions and to increase leadership capacity and improve communication and relationship skills. I founded my coaching firm in 2001 following 12 years asa CEO. Check out more on me and my coaching process in my book "The Business of Wanting More: Why Some Executives Move from Success to Fulfillment and Others Don't"

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