There is no manual for becoming or taking over as a CEO. Not surprisingly 33% to 50% of newly hired and promoted CEOs fail within their first 18 months. At the same time a successful CEO succession is critical to create lasting value. How can you select the right person and organize a good transition to maximize the chances of success?
“The #1 thing I wish I had done differently? I wish that I had developed clear core values and that I had used them in my recruiting process, to filter out candidates that didn’t fit our culture,” said the CEO of this consumer good company that went through a roller coaster over the past decade. Ten years ago his company had a lot of traction, their products were flying off the shelves, and they were in a hiring spree. Several years later they hit a number of roadblocks that put them in a tough financial position – and the impact of their toxic employees became extremely painful.
“Dad, I find you very hard on me lately,” my 11-years old son told me recently. I taught him to speak up and, as a result, I’m regularly confronted with his feedback. Although I appreciate him speaking up, I felt my body boiling and my thoughts going wild. “What does he think. I’m really soft with him. If he finds this hard, what if….”
Yeah, feedback is not always nice to hear and does have an effect on you.
When I was a young manager, I was panicked by the idea of giving feedback – until I was given a clear 3-step methodology to have ego-less, collaborative, and actionable feedback conversations. Having a feedback conversation is about preparing yourself mentally in order to avoid being judgmental – towards yourself or towards the other person. Our previous post was about overcoming your fear of feedback. This articles lays out three steps to give constructive feedback in a way that contributes to your team members’ personal development.
“Your behavior is unacceptable; please don’t ever do this again!” said the unhappy email from the head of this organization. He was referring to a communication I had sent a few days earlier – and inferred from my message that my goal was to subtly break one of the organization’s rules. I felt hurt. This short email darkened my mood for the rest of the day. What made this specific feedback hurtful, while my wife complaining a few days later about me gaining weight was not?