Vistage Baltimore News

Strategies to Help You Transition Into Becoming Your Company’s Next CEO

I recently met with a member who is in the process of being groomed to be the next CEO of his company. The transition process has been the primary focus of our monthly sessions, which got me thinking. Many of our members have, are currently in or will find themselves in this position one day.

So, how well prepared are they to take on the role of CEO? What action items do they need to put into place to make the transition go smoothly?

If you are stepping up to become the next CEO of your company, here are a few things that you need to start doing to prepare yourself for the position:

  • Develop a detailed transitional plan with your current CEO meet regularly to review the plan. Transitioning from managing a company’s department or division to CEO is a big step. Design the plan so that responsibilities transition over a period of time versus all at once.
  • Determine if this is an interim position. Is this a short term position or a long term one? Make sure you understand what is expected of you and if this aligns with your personal and professional goals
  • Educate yourself on the numbers and what they mean to the company. It is important to understand the financial side of the business. Make sure you have a good understanding of what the numbers mean so that you can talk about them and provide the right guidance.
  • Gather an understanding of how things work. Get a broader understanding of how things work in your company, who works there and what they do. Take time to understand how each department supports the company’s strategic goals.
  •  Have a succession plan in place. There are many things that need to be in place before you officially become CEO. Make sure you have a communications plan to announce your position internally and externally. Also, establish expectations in the very beginning.
  • Make sure you have a Plan B in place. If necessary, have a Plan C. You must always be prepared for contingencies.

Becoming a CEO doesn’t happen overnight. Whether you are a CEO looking to transition out of your current position or someone who is being groomed to become the next one? Start with a plan.

What advice do you have for new CEOs? Share your thoughts.

Interested in attending one of Marv’s meetings? Contact him at

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