Newly-Promoted CEO's: Encouragement For Those Transitioning From A Skill To A Role
Updated: Jul 26, 2018
Have you transitioned from a specific skills-based role to being the head of a company? If so, this article may serve as an encouragement and as a help to you!
For professionals who have recently transitioned from a specific work-skill role to a company-wide leadership role, it is important to make the jump well. Perhaps you excelled in your skill, and that is part of the reason you were trusted and promoted.
How can you lead effectively as a organizational leader now that you are managing, not just yourself, but an entire effort?
If, for instance, you used to fly helicopters, and now you are leading a whole company that provides helicopter search and rescue services, you have made quite a jump!
What used to be a singular narrow focus - don't crash and do help patients - has become really wide - manage this whole thing, grow the business, and lead a ton of people doing a range of different tasks, while preventing crashes and helping patients.
The Same Skills You Used To Manage Yourself Can Work For Leading A Whole Company
The good news is, the same skills you used to be excellent in the past can translate into helping a company be excellent corporately.
1. Character Mattered And It Still Does
Don't be intimidated. If you used to work with character as a principle, then simply continue to do the same thing.
Character works when engaging with board members. Character works when presenting to venture capitalists. Character works during the sales pitch to the new client. Character works.
And if you crash and burn because you upheld character as the new CEO, then what a way to go!
2. Don't Sweat The Small Stuff (So Long As Your Employees Know That They Better)
Let's go back our helicopter-pilot-turned-CEO example. There is a difference in:
Personally making junior pilots fly to the same level you do and
Requiring that they put in the effort to perform at your level.
The first is you doing the work to uphold the piloting standard at your company. The second is requiring that they uphold the standard by their own effort.
It can be a subtle leadership difference, but it is an important one.
Your employees should love coming to visit you in your office...unless they have let the small stuff slip.
3. Be Yourself, Just Better
If you were in a skills-based role for all that time, you were likely continually challenging yourself through professional development. This concept of professional development is emphasized at the low- and mid-levels in business these days, but is that expectation of ongoing personal professional development still applicable now at the President, VP, CEO, C-Level positions?
I say yes. What changes at the C-Level? Have you reached a pinnacle where you can no longer grow?
Be yourself as a leader, but be better.
You are in this role for a reason, so continue to invest in personal improvement...just as you have probably done your whole career.
C-Level leaders have at their disposal a range of coaching, consulting, academic, and mentorship options.
Consider making use of these.
Congratulations. Carry On!
If you are overwhelmed in your new role, stay encouraged.
You are there for a reason.
Get help if you need it, and go for it!
Kind regards from the other side of the pond,
EMEA Representative, VP / Director,
Lewis-Gray Solutions Group, LC