INSTANT MBA: New Execs Need To Know Which Challenges They Should Focus On

Business Insider

Today's advice comes from our interview with Martha Heller, president of the Boston-based executive search firm Heller Search Associates and author of the book The CIO Paradox: Battling The Contradictions of IT Leadership:

“Executives, especially CIOs, entering a new role should have a framework for understanding and separating out and distilling what are your real challenges...Do you have the right people in place? Are you embedding your smart business people into the business so that those relationships are strong there? Every part of the company needs good leadership development. Every part of the company needs project management. Think of yourself as an enterprise leader who’s bringing a lot of the good discipline from IT to the rest of the company.”

Many executives entering new roles have many challenges to face in the wake of the people they succeeded, which can feel like cleaning up a mess, says Heller. The best way to tackle it head-on is to know what your real challenges are and which ones you don't have to stress over.

For the challenges that will require the most effort on your part, Heller recommends taking them one at a time and making sure you have support systems in place. That means good discipline, good leadership, and good project management.

“Once you can identify which problems aren’t such a big deal, you’ll see the one that is the one that really hits home, and you’ll know that’s the one you have to focus on.”

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