First time CEOs say they were unprepared for the challenges
But they are still believing it was the "best job of their lives," according to a new study conducted by The River Group, a global leadership advisory firm.
The findings, published in The River Group’s annual CEO Study, EXCHANGES, came out of more than 70 in-depth conversations with CEOs representing a range of public and private companies from around the world.
The EXCHANGE study identified six core ‘experiences’ faced by first time CEOs:
- The challenge of the board and the unexpected demands, both collectively and individually;
- The master and apprentice paradox where the CEO needs to learn and lead at the same time;
- The conscience that their decisions affect all stakeholders, especially those that impact the lives of employees and their families;
- Alone in a crowd, where the CEO finds themselves isolated and at the center of attention, all at the same time;
- The power of creative expression, that allows them to have a vision and set a course;
- The myth of control and how the organizational dynamics strive to influence the CEO.
The study also asked first time CEOs to rate on a scale of one to ten "how prepared they felt for the new role on day one."
Interestingly, CEOs gave themselves a "preparedness" rating of 7.2 out of 10 on day one, but six months later reduced their ‘preparedness’ score to 3.5 out of 10. ■
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