Being a CEO of an organization is a great honor, but with this honor comes great challenges as well.

Whenever a professional steps into the role of CEO for their respective company, he or she often faces obstacles to overcome from previous management, past processes and procedures – among many other aspects.

So, what are some of the main challenges that CEOs typically face? And, more importantly, how can CEOs overcome these challenges to make positive impacts within their organization?

1. Leading the company based on how past management led the company.

Most professionals that move into a position of CEO, or even start out as a CEO of a company, typically tend to lean toward managing a team the way they were taught by their previous superiors.

This can be both an advantage and disadvantage.

If past superiors found effective ways to manage a team that drives real results for the business and keeps employees satisfied, then it’s an advantage to continue using these tactics. However, if the previous leaders did not successfully excel in certain aspects of the business, it can tremendously hurt a new CEO to follow these patterns.

This is why it is critical for CEOs to pull themselves away from what was previously done and fully evaluate each and every aspect of the business to ensure only the most productive and efficient tactics are in place to retain talented employees and keep revenue flowing.

2. Having the responsibility of making decisions that can cause disappointment among others in the organization or from supporters of the organization.

When an individual accepts the role of CEO within an organization, they often find themselves facing situations that involve making tough decisions that can affect colleagues they either previously reported to or worked alongside with or even both.

CEOs must take the entire company into account when making important business decisions. If the majority of the company will benefit from a particular decision, then it is often best to move forward with that decision – even if it makes displease some colleagues you previously worked with closely.

3.  Learning to prioritize and taking deadlines into consideration before acting on impulses.

Any new CEO should take the time and resources necessary to thoroughly review all aspects of the business, including current positions and responsibilities for all employees, all processes and procedures that are currently in place, short-term goals and long-term objectives, growth and development opportunities within the company, and so forth.

It’s also important for new CEOs to gather feedback from team members to see where the company may be lacking that could contribute to employee turnover rates or where there are areas for improvement, such as the need for additional resources in a certain department.

The two aspects mentioned above should be of top priority for new CEOs in any industry within a company of any size.

4. Focusing on leading your former peers, rather than acting as a fellow colleague to those who you may have previously reported to or worked alongside with.

While it is beneficial for a new CEO to know the capabilities and personalities of colleagues they previously worked alongside with or reported, it is also important for new CEOs to understand that they can no longer act as a “colleague” with these individuals.

Instead, they must learn how to transition to a leadership role and help former colleagues advance while not playing “favorites.”

5. Putting forth change at the right pace for the organization overall.

Newly-appointed CEOs must understand that change is accepted, but it must be put forth at a pace that employees and other invested individuals can adapt to.

CEOs cannot simply implement rapid changes without taking into consideration how team members and clients, or even investors and supporters, will react to these changes and how fast they are being executed.


For CEOs to acknowledge and overcome challenges within the workplace, they often must invest in training programs for themselves as leaders.

These coaching programs, often executive coaching programs or leadership training sessions with an experienced executive coach, help CEOs learn the skills and tactics that effectively assist them in identifying challenges and learning how to properly overcome these challenges for the better of the company as a whole.


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