When you hear about a CEO you automatically make an image of how they should be, how they should act and what they should be doing. But in reality, many of these images we get in our heads are myths about CEOs, and are in fact quite different when compared to real life successful CEOs. Although I would say that the concept of how a leader can motivate a team is quite related to this, and you can actually read more on this on the Jason Hanold Blog. It’s not all about leadership, and many CEOs may not have the typical outgoing and social leadership style thought to be required for the job. So as the years go by, there have been a series of myths that have grown about CEOs and that as organizations we should be ready to break down, so as not to have a negative experience with a CEO on account to not living up to this mythical standard.
To start off, let’s dive into an important one. The first 100 days. This standard is not only used to measure up the possible future successes of the president of a country, but also is a very used measuring stick for CEOs.
Myth #1 about a CEO’s first 100 days
Despite the fact that many people may consider that CEOs have to move quickly through the company as a whole, inspecting every single person who works at the organization, along with possible shortcomings. The fact is that a CEO should be taking this time to adjust their leadership style to the already existing dynamic of the organization, and not the other way around. So although the myth says these first 100 days must come along with big and crucial decisions to the company and its identity, it may be the complete opposite what’s needed.
A CEO may need to communicate effectively to smaller groups, handing over to the leaders of each small group the leadership needed to be successful as a company.
Myth #2 about a CEO’s first 100 days
Moreover this transition period has more to do with who adapts to who. The organization has a culture and personality all its own before the CEO got there, so the myth that a CEO has to come in introduce a whole new game plan, along with small room for negotiation is a myth. What should be happening is that the CEO recognizes the company’s true nature and uses this to create realistic and relevant goals.
Myth #3 about a CEO’s first 100 days
The idea that the CEO should be surrounded by these top executives that have only the best leaders, is yet another myth. The reality is that the team supporting a CEO should be a team, not just a bunch of great individual leaders. The more this team comes together to work as such, the more the CEO will have the support he or she may need to make the right decisions. Evaluations is another crucial point.
Myth #4 about a CEO’s first 100 days
Although it is quite important for a CEO to create standards and evaluations for the organization, it is equally important for the CEO to develop one for him or herself.
Myth #5 about a CEO’s first 100 days
And finally, these first 100 days, despite what popular belief may think, are not for the CEO to demonstrate his omnipresence or superior intelligence. These two characteristics don’t guarantee success as a leader, and to be honest are even sometimes unobtainable especially in the short period of the first 100 days. Recognizing a team’s expertise in a business will not make a CEO less of a leader, in fact acknowledging that he or she doesn’t know everything and that the team is there to, in fact, support the CEO which is part of being a great and successful leader.
Once the first 100 days are over, there are even more myths that continue to surround CEO’s performance, personality and leadership style. First of all, not all CEOs are extroverted leaders. There is not evidence that points to the fact that being an extroverted leader will make you a successful one. In today’s world, it is actually a lot more common to find successful introverted leaders that are extremely intelligent, contradicting the myth that they should all be rock stars. Another misconception is that all CEOs were born into a special club of privilege and this paved the way to their CEO corner office. This is not the case at all, CEOs are people who have taken the long road up, working their way through the ranks. In fact, it has been seen that people with adversity in their backgrounds are more likely to rise above simply because they have more to prove to themselves. Many headliner CEOs may have given off the image that every CEO must find it a priority to create and uphold a personal brand. The reality couldn’t be more different. Most CEOs don’t really care or invest time in their personal brand. CEOs may be expected to know a little bit about everything, but most are actually experts in one given area and then surround themselves with a team of experts in all of the other areas. At the end of the day, the tons of myths surrounding CEOs should not influence the performance that a CEO is having a particular organization. The organization should let the CEO pave their own way and lead in a way that allows the company and the CEO to grow.