The excitement that comes with establishing a company or business is one every CEO is familiar with; you can’t beat the thrill of starting your own line of products or services to help fulfill a need in the target market. But this feeling of excitement and thrill can quickly diminish once the real work sets in.
We’ve listed a few of the most challenging hurdles new CEOs typically face at the start of their career.
Tactics over strategy
This is a challenge even seasoned CEOs and business owners face on a regular basis; thinking strategically and not tactically.
It’s easy to get caught up by the daily tasks and technical issues that happen within the organization. This is especially true for perfectionists who insist on creating the perfect workflow and feel the urge to micromanage everything their employees are doing. Creating an effective strategy will help keep your newly built company on track, making sure every task performed within the company is done with the strategy and end goal of the company in mind. Micromanaging or making sure you do every single task or solve every single problem will derail your focus from the bigger picture, which is strategy.
So as a new CEO, you’ll have to watch out and be aware when you find yourself getting too involved with day-to-day tasks. A company’s success also hinges on the strategy you put in place, so keep that in mind whenever you catch yourself fussing over every little task or problem that comes your way.
Priorities are mixed up
As the previous point implies, new CEOs get tactics and strategy mixed up more often than not because their priorities aren’t properly defined or organized. Many new CEOs aren’t very good at managing their energy and knowing where to channel it.
It’s overwhelming and certainly difficult to run a company when you don’t know where to start, get bombarded with a boat-load of problems and issues, and have no way to make sure you’re making progress. You need to know and figure out what’s worth your time and energy, and most importantly, determine which tasks or issues will help the company move backwards or skyrocket towards success.
One way to keep yourself from wasting your energy on every little detail is to start filling up roles as quickly as you can when you first start out. According to this HBR article, the CEOs that were interviewed all wished they could’ve filled up positions within their organizations sooner instead of wearing multiple hats at the beginning themselves.
Complete unawareness of what’s going on in the company
We talked about focusing on strategy rather than tactics right? That doesn’t mean completely neglecting the day-to-day workflow that goes on within your company. In the business world you see two extremes; on one end of the spectrum, you see the perfectionist CEO getting too hands-on with daily work and tasks, and on the other end you find the oblivious CEO who only focuses on what they’re currently doing or putting themselves in their own silo.
Managing information flow is incredibly important when you first start out. You need to determine a way to get information about your company’s progress in every devision or department without being hit by an overflow of unnecessary data. The trick here is to stay informed, not micromanaging or controlling your teams and colleagues. Create a logical system or dashboard that can help you, as a CEO, remain in the loop while also giving you space to work on your own priority list.
Focusing all your energy on creating an effective priorities list or way of managing the flow of information within the company can make you turn a blind eye to something of equal importance, maintaining company values and business culture.
Your company’s values and culture can either make or break your company; you’ll either have a swarm of talents waiting to work for you, or you’ll have them resigning at the first chance they get. Creating a consistent work environment and maintaining good company culture and values can help motivate and inspire your employees to perform better and stay loyal to your company and its vision.