Tag Archives: ceo

Transition Plan for CEOs

What To Do Between Your Exit and Next Position

We wrote a post about how to make a graceful exit (especially when it’s involuntary) that explored what steps to take when leaving your position. This post is the follow-up that dives into how to identify, assess, and consolidate lessons learned to find the right next job. We’ll explore three key steps to a successful transition plan for CEOs.

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Never do what you are told!

I tell everyone who works with, or for, me that they are never to do something because I told them to do it.  I do not want or expect anyone to do what I ask just because I told them to do it. Instead, I insist they do what they do because they understand what they are doing, they know why it makes sense to do it, they believe that what they are about to do is the wise and right thing to do, and they want to do it.

The objective is to make them (as opposed to me!) accountable for what they do and to help them grow through the experience. Soon I will not have to ask them any more because what I want done will be internalized and we can move on the next stage of growth. If I ever ask them to do something that they do not understand, agree with, or want to do then I beg them to tell me about it so that we can talk it through.

An approach that demands people to do something but that does not take time to be sure those being told understand and agree with doing it may seem more like what a CEO should do but it is not. Here is why:

  • When things do not go quite right it is too easy for the person to let themselves off-the-hook as they say, either out loud or to themselves, that: I only did it because the boss told me to.
  • It is human tendency to do what you are told to do by persons in positions of authority.  However, when you follow an order, you do not necessarily have to:

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Alternatives to a COO.

Responsibilities shouldered by the Chief Executive Officer (a.k.a.: CEO, Managing Partner, Managing Director, or Executive Director) of a successful venture increase with growth in scale and complexity. The tension between the need to get things done, get others to do things, bridge the “white space” between organization units, and to represent the organization externally (e.g. to customers, investors, partners, suppliers, etc.) eventually reaches a breaking point.

Most, especially first time CEOs, get the idea to install a Chief Operating Officer (COO) as it seems an obvious way to spread the workload and ease the burden.

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An Action Plan for Executive Transition into a new Lead Role

Executive Transition into a new Lead Role

One of the toughest things for a senior executive to do is break in to an existing system of operation.  At first there is an exhilarating air of difference.  Everything is new and there is so much to figure out and to absorb.  The opportunity to have a major impact induces what seems to be an endless rush of euphoric excitement.  All too soon the feelings devolve into isolation and loneliness along with the realization that no matter what good things happen, everyone watching will wonder why there was not more. Continue reading An Action Plan for Executive Transition into a new Lead Role