The 4 Biggest CEO Mistakes!

The 4 Biggest CEO Mistakes!

I worked over 17 years in industrial environment, 13 as a manager, and some other years as a consultant. This experience gave me a very good insight within a management perspective. I could see good points and bad approaches, good habits and bad practices. Following I describe some points as mistakes for a CEO avoid when dealing to the management team:

Mistake #1 – Give Too Much Responsibility But Little Authority – This is a perverse mistake that means not balance the responsibilities given to the manager with the authority delegated. For example, imagine the task of structuring an entire area of the Company, but when is needed to fire or hire someone, the manager has to get the agreement from Human Resources dept. I use to say, I know better than anyone, if my shoes is killing my feet. If you do not trust the manager for him to choose people to work in his area, fire the manager. Even though I understand that we can, in some cases, take advantage of sharing the process of firing or hiring, no doubts that the last word is from the manager responsible for his team. Another example, if the CEO asked the manager to improve productivity, this manager has to have his own budget in order to approve a purchase of new equipment, that’s his call. And again, if you do not trust the manager for dealing with an approved budget, fire him.


Mistake #2 – High Demand/Low Support – It’s not rare to see a manager being demanded for cost reduction, higher productivity, better environment, employees’ satisfaction and so on. But, the CEO is not present to discuss some strategies, some actions, some problems that involves other managers, or even some planning that is related to the higher authority level. Imagine that the CEO ask to start some important project, but he don’t go to the kick off meeting. Obviously that the managers has to know how to work independently, but some (minimum) support is really important, and some CEOs seems to be always out of circuit, until they appear and demand, asking for the job done!

Mistake #3 – Intransigence – It’s not because you are a CEO, that you will lose your common sense, and reasonableness. It’s not because you are a CEO, you will demand crazy thing only because you want to use your power. The intransigence puts people off, and makes really difficult the daily job. So, it’s important for the CEO to demonstrate some wisdom and humbleness. If lacks wisdom, show humbleness; when lacks humbleness, show some wisdom.

Mistake #4 – Absence – The CEO has to travel a lot, visit customers and fairs, and do some other things that nobody knows and, because of that, he rarely is present at the Company, not to mention going to the shop floor, right? Obviously, it’s not. Wrong, a thousand times, wrong. No matter the CEO appointments, he must be present some times, and show himself. It’s crucial for the people see some times per month the CEO walking through the company areas, like shop floor, asking and inquiring about people, production, quality and delivery. This sounds like music for people that work hard on the shop floor, and make clear that the job that is been done is very important and, if the CEO takes care about shop floor, who will not?

Avoid these perverse CEO mistakes, and you will be on track for getting a good administration!