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10 Things a First-Time CEO Needs to Know

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Congratulations on your new job! We bet you’ve spent years and years climbing the corporate ladder trying to find your way to the top. And you made it! Seems like last year was a pretty good year for you to make that final step toward business success. In the USA alone, the number of top executives who left their executive positions has reached its peak. And even though we cannot pinpoint the exact reasons for that, we believe the time has come for another kind of people who will be, maybe, better CEO than the previous ones. That’s why we decided to share with you 10 things a first-time CEO needs to know.

Being a CEO is kinda like being Lady Gaga in the corporate world.

Becoming a CEO means much more than keeping one business running smoothly, and improving sales and customer relations. Becoming a CEO means you’re becoming a famous person of some sort. Your actions, decisions, and words will be constantly measured by your employees and that’s why you need to be extremely careful about what you do and speak.

The moment you accept the CEO position you’re becoming a role model everyone should look up to and a spokesman for your company. Be careful about your actions and measure twice before you actually say or do something.

Or you can feel a bit like Michael from the Office.

It never struck us before, but actually, Michael from the Office is one lonely boss. His lame jokes and desperate attempts to make the office a better place aside, he’s someone who suffered the most in the series. He never had the opportunity to truly bond with his employees and one time he resigned from his position he was so happy to eat with his coworker. And that’s something everyone refused to do before.

A first-time CEO needs to know this might get a little lonely at times. People can become pretty cautious about what they say and do in front of you and that can lead to almost formal behavior from their side. If you’re a true people person, you might take this pretty badly. We don’t say you won’t be able to joke with your employees at all, but you should know that distance between you and them will become more and more palpable.

You will become more and busier once you become a CEO.

Managing time can become a problem for many of us working in a startup. And when you are a first-time CEO your work actually never leaves you. A first-time CEO should know that proper scheduling will become a necessity – you’ll have too many meetings, press conferences, and decisions to make which will be extremely time-consuming.

One thing you shouldn’t forget when your schedule becomes jammed is to make some time for your employees. Keep their motivation and engagement on fleek, and make some time to make group Q and A sessions for instance.

Make sure you don’t become your work.

Your work doesn’t make you who you are. It defines you in some sense, but you should always maintain a healthy balance between work and family stuff.

Show your employees you value them individually, as a “whole package” rather than just sympathizing with their working persona. Working hard and playing hard might not be the best motto in the long run. So, if sometimes work has to suffer because of personal issues that should be understandable.

As a CEO you’ll constantly have to learn.

Just as you didn’t become a top performer in a heartbeat, you cannot expect yourself to become an excellent CEO in one day.

Your job training is ever-growing and constant and it will be like that as long as you keep that position. You’ll need to learn how to manage different people and adjust to the business needs as you go, and that’s something that needs constant work.

You’ll spend many sleepless nights thinking.

Becoming a CEO means you will inevitably make an impact on other people’s lives. Your decisions are able to affect many and this means they need to be continually revised. Many of those decisions you’ll have to make will bring severe consequences for your company and you need to be 100 percent sure about their rightfulness. Whatever decision you make, be positive you made it right and never go against your instinct because that will make you survive even when the times get extremely hard.

First-time CEO should know that stress management becomes a priority.

Stress can do wonders when it comes to ruining our health, mood, productivity, and engagement at work. As a first-time CEO, your stress levels will rise sky-high, because you’re the one in charge of everything and every decision is on you. However, besides managing your own stress levels you will need to learn how to manage the stress levels of your employees which may be a challenge of its own. Think about great team-building activities which can relieve stress levels and help your team bond even more.

You need to become more flexible.

Nobody can be productive the whole time throughout the day. Make sure you make the most out of each and every employee by offering them more flexible working hours. Consider offering them part-time opportunities, and remote work arrangements. That way you will boost employee engagement and motivation making them stay longer with you!

Make sure you don’t turn your employees into zombies.

Burnout is a serious thing. Working in a startup may become too much to take in for some people, and simply because they are not prone to using their vacation day properly. One of your tasks as a CEO will be to make sure everyone is being their best selves by staying well-rested throughout the year. And using vacation tracker software can help you do just that. We made a vacation tracker with one single goal in our mind: to give everyone what they deserve while keeping the business running intact. All you need to do is to install Vacation Tracker on your Slack account and you’ll get notifications whenever some of your employee’s vacation approaches. What’s best, you don’t have to pay for the software during the first two weeks. That way you’ll be able to try it out and see if it works for you.

Being a CEO was never easy. You just earned a handful of responsibilities and your workday will never be the same again. But as it might be tough, you have the opportunity to make a positive impact on many people’s lives. Take privilege of it.

Aleksandra Cvetkovic
Aleksandra Cvetkovic

Aleksandra has been with the team since day one, bringing her passion for all things marketing.

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