As with any leader, the best understand that it’s a continuous journey of learning and transforming. A new study of 400 CEOs from various industries and organisational structures around the globe, reveals some very interesting insights on the human side of the CEO role, that we thought was worth sharing.

Based on the report findings, most CEOs feel they have the hard skills and professional experience to step up to the role but found certain personal aspects more challenging than expected. Almost 80 percent of CEOs said their prior achievements and experience prepared them to be CEOs, however:

  • 47% of respondents said that developing their senior leadership team was more difficult than anticipated.
  • 50% of respondents said driving culture change was more difficult than they’d thought.
  • 48% of respondents said that finding time for themselves and for self-reflection was more difficult than expected.
  • With hindsight, only 32% felt fully prepared.

Based on personal insights and experiences, key themes emerged about what could have been done better when entering a new CEO role, including having more professional onboarding, sharing the true challenges of the industry, more clarity on role definition, and more deliberate management of an exiting CEO.

The key takeaway from this study is that CEOs reported that for the most part, several parts of the role had unfolded as expected but that several elements – such as driving cultural change and building senior leadership teams – were more difficult.

Leadership development and change management tend to be top priorities for most organisations – effective cultural change cannot happen without leadership.

Need help?

If you are recruiting your next senior leader, is your business ready for the leadership transition?  Do you have your onboarding sorted to ensure your new hire can perform to the best of their ability in the role? We can help with that.

The Decipher Team

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