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Where Should A New CEO Focus First?


Long-standing CEOs almost universally say their number one job is to own and drive vision and values. At the same time, their common regret is not moving faster to get people in appropriate roles. Reflecting back, CEOs talk about how surprised they were by how lonely the job is, and both the positive and negative stress involved with being in charge.

They also realize the less they do themselves, the more they will be able to inspire and enable others.

Michael Porter et al note “The Seven Things That Surprise New CEOs:”

  1. You can’t run the company.

  2. Giving orders is very costly.
  3. It is hard to know what is really going on.
  4. You are always sending a message.
  5. You are not the boss.
  6. Pleasing shareholders in not the goal.
  7. You are still only human.
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