NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--First time CEOs describe how unprepared they were for the isolation and scrutiny that came with their new role – while still believing it was the ‘best job of their lives,’ according to a new study conducted by The River Group LLC, a global leadership advisory firm.
The findings, published in The River Group’s annual CEO Study, EXCHANGES, came out of more than 70 in-depth conversations with CEOs representing a range of public and private companies from around the world, www.trgglobal.com.
“The first time CEO faces more pressure and scrutiny from employees, shareholders, boards and customers than ever before,” said Sandy Lyons, the CEO of The River Group, himself a four-time CEO of multi-national businesses in the US and Europe. “Our study interestingly found that a first time CEO feels more unprepared and isolated than ever before, while still feeling it is the best job of their lives.”
The EXCHANGE study identified six core ‘experiences’ faced by first time CEOs:
- The challenge of the Board and the unexpected demands, both collectively and individually;
- The master and apprentice paradox where the CEO needs to learn and lead at the same time;
- The conscience that their decisions affect all stakeholders, especially those that impact the lives of employees and their families;
- Alone in a crowd, where the CEO finds themselves isolated and at the center of attention, all at the same time;
- The power of creative expression, that allows them to have a vision and set a course;
- The myth of control and how the organizational dynamics strive to influence the CEO.
The study also asked first time CEOs to rate on a scale of one to ten ‘how prepared they felt for the new role on day one.’ Interestingly, CEOs gave themselves a ‘preparedness’ rating of 7.2 out of 10 on day one, but six months later reduced their ‘preparedness’ score to 3.5 out of 10.
“The lessons and findings from CEOs around the world that are identified in the EXCHANGE study, are based on real world observations and advice from people who have traversed the changing and dynamic role of the CEO, the pinnacle role of leadership in the organization. It will be interesting to see how the role of CEO continues to change and evolve in this dynamic marketplace,” said Lyons.
About The River Group
The River Group is a leading Consultancy and Advisory in Leadership, Transformation and Organizational Dynamics. River works with CEOs and senior executives on their major organizational and leadership issues.
River supports leaders in transforming their businesses by helping them to:
- Architect and lead change
- Create a sustainable and fit-for-purpose culture
- Design an organization aligned with the strategy
And, supports businesses in transforming their leaders by helping them to identify and develop current and future leaders who excel in:
- Change leadership roles
- Enterprise-wide leadership roles
- Roles of increasing responsibility
River harnesses the best in social science research with proven tools and methods to deliver actionable solutions. Their team combines the behavioral know-how of consultants with the concrete experience of the CEO.