Seven Surprises for New CEOs
(Michael Porter)

Knowledge Center





Explanation of Seven Surprises for new CEOs of Michael Porter, Jay Lorsch, Nitin Nohria. ('04)


The Seven Surprises for New CEOs were described for the first time in the HBR of October 2004 in an article regarding CEO Leadership by Michael Porter, Jay Lorsch and Nitin Nohria.


As a newly appointed CEO, one may think to finally have the power to set strategy. The authority to make things happen, and full access to the finer points of your business. But if you expect that this job is so simple, you'd better wake up now. You bear full responsibility for your company's well-being. But you are a few steps away from many important business factors. You have more power than anybody in the corporation, but you need to use it with extreme caution.

Porter, Lorsch and Nohria have discovered that nothing - not even leading a large business within the company - fully prepares a person to be the chief executive.


The seven most common SURPRISES for new CEOs:

  1. You can't run the company. The sheer volume and intensity of external demands take many by surprise. Almost every new chief executive struggles to manage the time drain of attending to shareholders, analysts, board members, industry groups, politicians, and other constituencies.
  2. Giving orders is very costly. No proposal should reach the CEO for final approval, unless he can ratify it with enthusiasm. Before then, everyone working on the matter should have raised and resolved any potential deal breakers. The CEO should be brought into the discussion only at strategically significant moments to give feedback and support.
  3. It is hard to know what is really going on. Certainly, CEOs are flooded with information, but reliable information is surprisingly scarce. All information coming to the top of the enterprise is filtered, sometimes with good intentions, sometimes with not such good intentions.
  4. You are always sending a message. The words and actions of a CEO, however small or said casually, are instantly spread and amplified, scrutinized, interpreted and sometimes drastically misinterpreted. Compare: Charismatic Leadership
  5. You are not the boss. Although the CEO may sit on the top of the management hierarchy, he still reports to the board of directors. Ultimately, the board is in charge. Not the CEO.
  6. Pleasing shareholders is not the goal. CEOs must recognize that, ultimately, it is only long-term value creation that is important. Today's growth expectations or even the stock price are not so relevant. Compare: Moral Purpose
  7. You are still only human. CEO should recognize that he needs connections to the world outside his organization, at home and in the community. In order to avoid that he is completely consumed by his corporate life.

These Seven Surprises for new CEOs carry some important lessons:

  • First, as a new CEO you must learn to manage organizational context rather than focus on daily operations.
  • Second, you must recognize that your position does not confer the right to lead, nor your position guarantees the loyalty of the organization.
  • Finally, you must remember that you are subject to a range of limitations, even though others might treat you as if you were omnipotent.

Special Interest Group - Seven Surprises for New CEOs


Special Interest Group (17 members)


Forum - Seven Surprises for New CEOs  

In this forum you will find recent interesting discussions.


  Even CEOs Need Time to Learn... (1 reactions)
Anyone new to a position is a learner; most CEOs will not re...
 
 
 
 
  Don't underestimate the emotional and positional power a CEO has
The emotional and positional power a CEO exercises is drasti...
 
 
 
 
  Even CEOs Need Support from their Team (2 reactions)
CEOs need to know that the team they are leading is very imp...
 
 
 
 
  Alternate Meanings of CEO: Chief Excitement Officer (1 reactions)
Besides the standard - and the already mentioned in this ...
 
 
 
 
  Being a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is Easy (1 reactions)
The CEO can choose between authority or knowledge. Trusti...
 
 
 
 
  On #6: Shareholder Pleasing is not the Goal (1 reactions)
Well I think Porter is missing an important point when he sa...
 
 
 
 
  7 More CEO Surprises
1. He can be the loneliest person in the middle of nowhere. ...
 
 
 
 
  Undercutting CEO Power
In Fortune (Europe, March 12, 2007, no. 4) Geoff Colvin ment...
 
 
 
 
  CEO: the Strategist of Business
Despite of surprising himself with a lot of challenges, the ...
 
 
 
 
  Combine Top Down with Bottom Up Thinking (1 reactions)
I guess sometimes man must change his view to the company; n...
 
 
 
 
  Assimilating the Right Type of Information
A CEO is usually flooded with information which can become c...
 
 
 
 
  The Top Leader's View: A Leadership Labyrinth (2 reactions)
Working on my dissertation in Leadership raised an interesti...
 
 
 
 
Hot The Importance of Empathy, Gratitude and Generosity for New Leaders
New leaders encounter challenges as they move up the ladder,...
 
 
 
 
  CEO's Dilemma: Infinite Business Possibilities in a Finite Company!
In an organizations, there are many choices to make about th...
 
 
 
 
  On #3: It's Hard to Know what is Really Going On (2 reactions)
What are the most effective ways for a CEO to determine if t...
 
 
 
 
  On #7: Even a CEO is Still Only Human (2 reactions)
I gained a better understanding upon review of the seven mos...
 
 
 
 
  CEO is a Facilitator and Needs Followers (1 reactions)
A new CEO must share his/her vision to the organization in o...
 
 
 
 
  Surprises to a CEO: You Need to Deal with Undercurrents
As a ship sails along the sea, there are undercurrents that ...
 
 
 
 

Best Practices - Seven Surprises for New CEOs

Here you will find the most valuable discussions from the past.


  Chief Enabling Officer (46 reactions)
In a predominantly knowledge-based organization, it would...
 
 
 
 

Expert Tips - Seven Surprises for New CEOs

Here you will find high-quality advice from experts.


 

Leadership is a Momentum Game..

What Early Actions are Most Important for Leaders?...
 
 
 

Myths on REACHING the top

What Experiences, Qualifications and Characteristics are Needed to Reach the Top?...
 
 
 

Categeories of CEO's

Leadership Styles, CEO Types...
 
 
 

Pursuing a Dual Corporate Purpose

CSR, Impact on Society, Balancing Financial and Social Goals, Dual Purpose...
 
 
 

Mintzberg: 7 Myths on Management

Management Development, Leadership Development, Managers versus Leaders, MBA...
 
 
 

Five Leadership Development Ideas

Leadership Development, Management Development, Coaching, Mentoring...
 
 
 

Identify and Develop Leadership Abilities

Leadership Development, Management Development, Coaching, Mentoring...
 
 
 

Leadership Best Practices

Leadership Development, Leadership Tips...
 
 
 

LEADER: Best Practices for Effective Leadership Behavior

Leadership Behavior, Leadership Effectiveness, Leadership Style...
 
 
 

Effective Top Management Teams in Multinationals. Requirements and Characteristics

Board of Directors, Leadership Teams, Multinationals, Top Team Management...
 
 
 

Founder-CEO firms

HR, FInance...
 
 
 

How Long Should a CEO Remain in the Job?

CEO Performance, CEO Life Cycle, CEO Tenure, CEO and Board Relation...
 
 
 

CEOs Time Spent per Stakeholder / Constituency

CEO Coaching, CEO Time Management, Stakeholder Management...
 
 
 

Reasons and Remedies to Dissonance in Leaders

Primal Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, Stress, Cognitive Dissonance, Resonance...
 
 
 

The Importance of Culture in Organizational Performance

Organizational Culture, Corporate Culture, Employee Behavior, Organizational Performance...
 
 

Resources - Seven Surprises for New CEOs

Here you will find powerpoint presentations, micro-learning videos and further information sources.


CEO's influence on Performance

CEO, Firm performance...
 

Power and Politics in Organizations

Power Relations, Bases of Power, Political Behavior, Politics, Political Tactics, Organizational Politics...
 

The Fatal Coaching Mistake by Managers

Coaching, Mentoring, Management, Leadership...
 

Video Introduction to Leadership

First Understanding of Leadership, Trainings, Workshops...
 

CEO Succession Planning

Succession Planning...
 

Steven Covey on his 8 Habits of Effective People / Managers / Leaders

Understanding the 8 Habits of Covey. Leadership Development, Management Development, Coaching, Mentoring...
 
 

News about Seven Surprises Porter


     
 

News about Ceo Challenges


     
 

Videos about Seven Surprises Porter


     
 

Videos about Ceo Challenges


     
 

Presentations about Seven Surprises Porter


     
 

Presentations about Ceo Challenges


     
 

Books about Seven Surprises Porter


     
 

Books about Ceo Challenges


     
 

More about Seven Surprises Porter


     
 

More about Ceo Challenges


     

Compare with the Seven Surprises for New CEOs:  Seven Habits (Covey)  |  Servant-Leadership  |  Level 5 Leadership  |  EPIC ADVISERS  |  Leadership Pipeline  |  Coaching  |  Mentoring  |  Value Based Management  |  Core Group Theory  |  Strategic Stakeholder Management  |  SMART  |  Path-Goal  |  Leadership Continuum  |  Situational Leadership  |  Theory X Theory Y  |  4 Dimensions of Relational Work  |  Leadership Styles  |  Strategic Intent  |  Results-Based Leadership


Return to Management Hub: Change & Organization  |  Communication & Skills  |  Leadership  |  Strategy


More Management Methods, Models and Theory

Special Interest Group Leader

You here? Sign up for free


 


About 12manage | Advertising | Link to us / Cite us | Privacy | Suggestions | Terms of Service
© 2019 12manage - The Executive Fast Track. V15.2 - Last updated: 18-11-2019. All names ™ of their owners.