How many CEOs are first-time CEOs? I think it’s the majority (we found as high as 73%), and that’s a real problem. This is the subject of my newest article for Forbes: Why Virgin CEOs Are At A Distinct Competitive Disadvantage
Bottom line: Most new CEOs do not have the preparation or the management systems to hit the ground running. CEO tenures are shorter than ever, putting increased strain on first timers. Especially if they are replacing a failing CEO, they are often not given the time or leeway to make their mark.
I am not saying that first-time CEOs cannot be successful, but people who aspire to the position need to treat it as a completely new job – unlike anything they’ve done before – that requires much preparation. They cannot approach it as an entitlement based upon a glorious career so far. It’s a unique role, and while no amount of training can fully prepare you, I believe there are actions you can take to set yourself up for success from day one (the scope of this blog). That goes for CEO management systems as well.
Check out the article and let me know what you think. And if anyone has additional data points about how many CEOs are first timers, please share!