Transitioning To CEO

This programme is designed for CxO level executives who are aspiring to their first general management / CEO position. Typically, these executives have a background in finance or production. Collaborative experience has given them a deep understanding of functions and departments far beyond their original field of expertise, though they may not have held a formal position in the organization reflecting this. Although they have a corporate sponsor for their promotion, they may still face internal or external competition - not least because their focus has been more on results than on people.

The jump from CxO or VP to CEO is a big one in many respects. Among many other things, it requires new CEOs to take their self-management to a different level - so as to meet the manifold demands on their energy and resilience. This is not about time management. It is about surmounting or eliminating the potential hurdles of a CEO that are more serious than any that have been faced in previous management roles, including:

  • An unmatched level of scrutiny by peers, HQ and shareholders
  • The interpretation of every comment or nonverbal cue by co-workers, who often blow things out of proportion
  • A new level of pressure around reporting dates (not only for listed companies)
  • Constant exposure to media and high-level PR duties
  • The need to communicate direction to a diverse set of individuals with widely differing communication styles in a minimum of time and personal effort
  • Spontaneous or overly emotional decisions which can and will backfire and are often expensive to fix
  • The need to develop high-level strategies and skills of influence without corrupting personal values
  • The high instability of existing alliances and safety nets, being continually reassessed by all parties, therefore requiring the top executive to be constantly on the alert.

On top of this, running an organization is sometimes agonizingly similar to running an adult day care centre. Many items on a top executive’s agenda are more people related than business related, and it often takes difficult and expensive decisions to make sure that people can achieve the business results that the company needs. They are only too aware that the true mastery of interpersonal relations and the management of expectations still eludes them – these issues take a heavy toll on their energy, as well as their time. Although they are obviously a lot more experienced than when they started out, and think much less in terms of black-and-white, they realize that they are still pretty much self-taught. They feel they are operating at a level just a tad below the one the current situation seems to call for. Also, they have noticed that they are still prone to the same type of unforced errors, and have accepted that their blind spots also haven’t evolved much over the years. While none of this is what top executives were trained to handle, they still wish they had better skills for dealing with these topics. 

Especially in turbulent times, everyone will be looking to them for guidance and solutions, and chances are they won’t even get the “first 100 days” bonus. This service includes learning high-impact tools and gaining insights to manage stakeholder relations, tackle office politics, and keep an open mind under pressure.

Sample Testimonials

More information available for regional HR managers and general managers wishing to promote a direct report. The 4-page material is designed to serve as a basis for a discussion between local and/or regional management and potential coachee.