5 Things New CEOs Should Know

by Greg Skloot
Leadership Team   |   3 Min Read
new CEO

Thinking back to my early days as a CEO, I wish I had understand these things better on the first day.

1. Communicate and then communicate again

I wish I had understand that my #1 job was to communicate. As the CEO, you are communicating vision, progress and guidance constantly each day. As you apply more thought to this, you can craft the right messages that inspire and deliver results.

2. Constantly prioritize

I was overwhelmed with the sheer volume of initiatives on my plate each day. I wish I had understand how important it is to constantly evaluate priorities and say no. You can’t take every meeting or do every task… pick out the important ones.

3. Hold the leadership team accountable

As CEO, you are the direct manager for the executive team, one of the most challenging teams to manage. You need to ensure they are aligned on your objectives, transparent on what progress is being made and held accountable for results. I started using my tool Weekly Update for our team to do this effectively.

Shorter meetings. Real accountability.
Try Weekly Status Updates

4. Avoid burnout

I worked myself way too hard as CEO. It is so beneficial to diversify your time and have some outside interests aside from your business. I never would have believed that at the time, but for the CEOs that get it, they often are more balanced and are able to step away to make more clear decisions.

5. Be realistic

In many ways as an early CEO, I created unnecessary stress by constantly setting insane stretch goals that drove everyone nuts. To be sure, I’m not saying to set the bar too low, but if you set it unrealistically high, the team will just be consistently disappointed when they don’t achieve. Goals need to be aligned with resources: if we are going to sell 30% more this quarter, did our sales staff increase or improve by 30%? Is there a new product we are going to sell?

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