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The 4 most common mistakes made by new CEOs

May 13, 2024

Drawing a hasty portrait of the company and belittling the achievements of the teams are two of the main mistakes that newly hired leaders often make in their first few months in office. The conclusion comes from the study “Onboarding: integrating CEOs, directors and advisors – Best practices to reduce risks and accelerate performance”, by MAIO Executive Search.

The report is based on the experience of the consultancy’s partners in projects to hire top management candidates in Brazil and on conversations with former CEOs who now sit on boards.

  1. Hasty diagnosis

Every professional who arrives at a company wants to act quickly to “prove their worth”. However, making a hasty diagnosis can be a “fatal” mistake, according to the survey.

“A poorly designed analysis will lead to wrong decisions in the first few months, making it very difficult – or even impossible – to build relationships of trust with shareholders, staff and other stakeholders,” the document points out.

  1. Sticking to strategy

This is one of the most common oversights observed in newly hired CEOs who have not performed well. “Focusing only on long-term impacts and forgetting about immediate deliveries can shorten the executive cycle. Relationships of trust depend on a correct understanding of the business and frequent deliveries.”

According to the research, successful cases of management transitions are preceded by short-term results – before hammering out strategic changes.

  1. Criticizing the past

Every organization reaches a certain level through merit. It is through collective construction that market share, jobs and customers are won, the document points out.

“As changes at the top are usually the result of the need to transform companies, a common slip we see is that the new leader starts saying that ‘from now on everything will be different and better’.”

  1. Talking too much to the wrong audience

During the arrival of a new CEO, there is a lot of expectation about changes that will be made and priorities in sight, according to the survey. “Knowing when to speak and what to say is fundamental.”

The report concludes that a good onboarding process for a senior executive or board member can maximize the chances of the professional being hired adapting and succeeding. However, there is one critical element that will always be the most important for successful integration: the attitude of the individual hired. “With the right attitude and commitment, and the discipline to carry out the steps proposed in this material (avoiding making the mistakes also mentioned), the impact generated by this individual will be accelerated and enhanced.”

Source: Onboarding | Maio | Valor Econômico