Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Discussion Forum #4 - If You Were CEO For One Month...

The grass more often than not, looks greener on the other side of the fence.

Or shinier.

Or easier to manage.

It's thus no wonder that you often think that you could do a better job than the incumbent leader in running the company. You're therefore quick to note the chronic problems lurking in your organisation or list the blunders made by those at the helm of affairs. You also grumble, complain and moan about the status quo.

You reckon that you've got impressive ideas for moving your company forward. This belief of course leads to fanciful daydreams about being the CEO sitting in the plush office, enjoying the extravagant salary and relishing luxurious perks attached to that coveted spot. You fantasise about implementing such and such rules, sacking those leeches (aka the senior executives), and basking in the adulation of your followers (aka staff), as the omniscient, charismatic leader that your company deserves. You'd love to be known as a true professional who exudes great executive presence with excellent communication skills and who gets stuff done.

Really how difficult could it be?

Well here's your chance.

Imagine that you were given the opportunity to become the chief executive officer in your dream company for one month, with full rein to executive powers.

The only snag is that whatever decisions you make will remain binding after the given period, after which you resume your previous role.

What move will you make?

Guidelines for discussion forums:

1) Comments only related to the topic would be approved. Please keep them relevant.

2) Comments submitted after the deadline will not be published.

3) Clarity is  required. Please edit your comments before posting.

4) Language should  be kept professional and 'clean'. Inappropriate contributions will not be approved. Comments written as personal attacks will also be rejected.

And now over to you...

Discussion Forum #4 - If You Were CEO For One Month... 
(30 August, 2016 - 27 September, 2016 at 23.59 West African Time)

That's right folks: four weeks of freedom to inspire, lead, rule, divide or conquer. 

What will you do? What won’t you tolerate? 

We'd like to know so kindly post your comments below, anonymously if you wish. Remember to invite others to chip in. 


Recommended reading 

Discussion Forum #3 - What Is The Best Career Advice You Ever Gave Or Received?


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  N.B- First image courtesy of Freedooom; at freedigitalphotos.net. Second  image courtesy of Tigger11th; via freedigitalphotos.net.


  1. Interesting article! I think this fun to try and get the thoughts of your audience. Okay here goes mine. Firstly lets clear the air, my dream company would be a company I own, run , built and conceived. So I want to be CEO of my own company, because nobody will me more passionate about the ideals of my company than me and it wont be because of the lure of sitting in a plush office, having coveted spots e.t.c.

    I suppouse my assumptionbof working in a dream company as my company is a loop hole in what you intended! Okay let me play by the rules :). Lets assume that i could be CEO for 4 weeks in an organisation that maybe could be considered major blue chip , fortune 500 company, what moves will i make. I guess the key thing for me would be try to create a culture of freedom of expression, where employees are allowed to express themselves in all honesty without any fear or repercussion, every opinion is valued, every idea is looked into. I will advocate a very flat organisational structure where decision making is quick, sharp and easy without being bugged down by processes and bureaucracy. I will invest a lot of time and energy in people and finding out ways to keep staff morale high, regularly obtain feedback and make sure all section and mid level managers are always aware of the pulse, feelings and views of staff of how the organisation is run and then actively work on it because i believe once you have happy motivated staff who feel empowered to deliver the company's vision and they feel valued then the organisation remains top quartile. Those are the decisions i will make that i hope stick after my 4 weeks.

  2. Hi Lucille Great scenario. If I was to be appointed CEO I'd spend the first two weeks asking insightful questions and listening to the answers. I'd question a range of people across the organisation. I would be looking for commitment to a clear purpose and vision. I'd test the view of our customers and how they were being serviced. I'd check on company morale generally. Based on my fact find in the first two weeks I'd initiate 3 development projects using cross functional teams. These projects and their successful outcomes would be my legacy as a 1 month CEO.

  3. As a retiring CEO, of a large NGO, let me stand this on its head, you are only going to be CEO for one more month, what do you do beyond help get things ready for your successor? By the end of September, I will be stepping down as CEO, and I have found this last month perhaps the most difficult of my career. I am engaged in addressing issues I don't want to leave to my successor.

    I am fortunate in knowing my successor and having had the last month to work side by side with him as well as this and we will reverse roles next month when he takes the lead. So I find myself advising a first time CEO.

    The best advise I would give anyone as a new CEO for a month or longer, listen to your staff, identify those you trust enough to tell you you are wrong. You'll need them most because you will be wrong some of the time. Don't rush in to address everything that is wrong at once, no one has enough energy of time to do that. Besides some things that seem wrong when sitting to the side of the CEO may not be. Finally just because you have great new ideas doesn't mean you should try them all at once, a new CEO has to win the trust of those he or she governs. Sacrificing trust to accomplish your dreams is a clear way to turn them into nightmares.

    In my six years as President and before that 22 years in various other positions I feel I accomplished those things I had to, some things I wanted to and leave behind those things I needed to. The company is fiscally stronger than it has ever been in my 28 years with it, and it is ready for its next leader, that last one was my most important job six years ago and I have done it.


We know you have opinions. Kindly post your comments.