You are a new CEO: Which advice would you take?

There is always the first time. You have never been a CEO. Finally, a letter comes, “Appointment as CEO, XX” from HR advising you that following your recent interview, you emerged as the best candidate and your appointment is effective the following month.

You know that the former CEO resigned due to pressure from stakeholders, specifically the shareholders who were asking for tough questions: why is the reported dividend per share far below the treasury bill rate which carries no risk at all?

You were outstanding at the interviews. You presented great ideas to transform the business. Now that reality has happened, how do you go about it? How do you implement change?

They say talk is cheap. Anyone can be prepared to win at job interviews. However, when it comes to action. To put your ideas into action, many excuses start happening.

Where do you start? How do you transform a failing business?

Today, There is a lot of noise – in books, blogs, online and friends. Our insecurities mean that we have multiple advisers. The outcome is information overload. So many ideas, few solid clear steps.

Typically, as a new CEO you could hear five different voices:

  1. Fire everyone and ask each staff to reapply
  2. Ask around, interact with the people in the mission-critical processes, know them and work with them well not against them.
  3. Start slowly, do not trust existing people. Create a strong inner circle of trusted folks, and terminate the old-timers slowly, one by one
  4. Go out on a strategic retreat. Work with the people to craft a new strategy that they own.
  5. What a heck, go into your office and start working. Those who want to work with you will come. Those who do not will also come since you are the one who signs on the cheque!

Which advice would you take?

Feel free to comment below.

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.

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