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Advice for New CEOs
- Put your ear to the ground and listen without an agenda.
- Leave your ego at the door. Be humble enough to know what you don’t know.
- Forget the offsite executive team powwows. Wander the halls instead, dropping by offices for a chat. Be on their turf.
- Ask what you can do to make work lives better. Find out—and fix—the little irritants first. Then tackle the big questions.
- Conduct in-depth research into the organization’s history, value proposition, past strategy, challenges and opportunities prior to Day 1 on the job.
- During the first 100 days, reach out to senior executives and managers to understand company nuances—products, processes and systems that are in working order or broken.
- Take pains to understand the culture of the organization.
- Be prepared for resistance. Changing the culture takes an evolutionary process.
- Honestly assess the stability of the organization’s business model, its competitive position and the strength of its financial condition.
- Be patient in the senior management selection process.
- Get the right people in the right roles focused on the right projects; assess key executive’s strengths and match roles to strengths.