Rookie Mistakes of New CEOs

Any new CEO who tries to wield power unilaterally will pay for it, according to Harvard Business School professors Michael E. Porter, Jay W. Lorsch, and Nitin Nohria as this article from HBS Working Knowledge explains:

"Bearing full responsibility for a company's success or failure, but being unable to control most of what will determine it. Having more authority than anyone else in the organization, but being unable to wield it without unhappy consequences. Sound like a tough job? It is—ask a CEO. Surprised by the description? So are CEOs who are new to the role. Just when an executive feels he has reached the pinnacle of his career, capturing the coveted goal for which he has so long been striving, he begins to realize that the CEO's job is different and more complicated than he imagined.

Some of the surprises for new CEOs arise from time and knowledge limitations—there is so much to do in complex new areas, with imperfect information and never enough time. Others stem from unexpected and unfamiliar new roles and altered professional relationships. Still others crop up because of the paradox that the more power you have, the harder it is to use. While several of the challenges may appear familiar, we have discovered that nothing in a leader's background, even running a large business within his company, fully prepares him to be CEO."