What should a New CEO focus on?
Most first-time CEOs of small to midsize companies struggle. They typically receive no training and their predecessor may not have been a great role model. So they simply do their best and make it up as they go along, which is not a recipe for success. In fact, it’s dangerous – for their health and the health of the company.
We’ve learned from decades of experience training CEOs, that what works is focusing on the following 3 areas.
- Company DNA
Your company’s DNA is its identity. DNA is a combination of a company’s unique position in the market, it’s winning culture, it’s an exciting vision for the future and it’s a reason for being i.e. the good it does for others. Without a clear, well-communicated DNA, your company will always struggle, duking it out with countless competitors, suffering from low morale, and battling conflicting views on “who we are, where we’re going and why”. Not good.
- Business Operating System
Think machine. Think being the builder and operator of the machine, not a part of the machine. As a small company grows, things become more complex and many CEOs are the glue that holds everything together by being involved in all the jobs. But that’s not scalable and typically not even sustainable. It’s just too much for one person to do properly.
To build a machine, you need to install a business operating system like our Big Six, which is easier than most people think. It’s a matter of establishing basic procedures (planning, people, processes, information and a powerful meeting rhythm) that get everyone pulling together efficiently and effectively. Nothing fancy, just the essentials that create magical results.
Focus 3 – Outside Perspective and Advice
The game of business is too challenging to expect one person to know all the right moves. Other perspectives and opinions are required. Definitely listen to your people, but don’t forget to tap into other CEOs, advisors, and coaches. They’ll multiply your knowledge and experience by a factor of 10 or more. Pick people without an agenda, who care about you and give you their candid opinions based on many years of experience. Do that and you’ll go from rookie to seasoned CEO who can outsmart and outperform most, if not all, of your competitors.