Is CEO the Job Right For You? Look Before You Leap
With CEO’s falling sooner and harder than ever before, the CEO job is not for the faint of heart.
The leap to CEO from any other position is a big one. Ram Charan writes, “The job of a CEO is more intellectually, socially, politically, and psychologically demanding than ever. And it is much more challenging than other jobs leading up to it.”
The Wall Street Journal reported this week in A Different Animal Seeks the No. 1 Post; Often, It’s Not No. 2, that “the gap between No. 1 and No. 2 in a company is often bigger than many realize. CEOs not only perform different tasks from their second-in-commands—who typically focus on running operations—but they have to act differently too. That means the two roles often demand very different personality traits, say people who have been there.”
WSJ author, Phred Dvorak, continues, “The very talents that make a great chief operating officer—like finicky attention to detail—can get in the way when you are in the top seat. CEOs are supposed to strategize, not micromanage.”
Murray Martin, Pitney Bowes CEO, told Dvorak, “He can understand how executives with more retiring personalities wouldn’t like the transition. One of the biggest differences between the two jobs [COO/CEO] is how much time is spent on external affairs.”
We have seen people taking positions in organizations across the board—business, politics, religion—who like the idea—the trappings—but can't handle the pressure and responsibility. They complain, “Why don't they just leave me alone?” But that’s part of the job. Perks only come with responsibility. The CEO job is certainly one where you need to count the cost as there is a dramatic shift in expectations, but any leadership position should be weighed before you accept it.
Is CEO the job right for you?
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