Saturday, April 21, 2018

Women empowering women in their journey! Sponsored by Soledad Tanner Consulting

Women empowering women in their journey! Soledad Tanner Consulting – Business & Financial Management Consultant was proud sponsored of Social Share April Meetup by Daneliasloves


We are not alone!! Together we can accomplish our goals. We must support each other. Yesterday was amazing! We met other women, shared, connected, were heard, and found friendship & support. “When we share our testimony, it inspires, motivates, and gives others hope while we are also becoming stronger inside and out. Together we can accomplish more. Live with purpose” Danelialoves


Soledad Tanner Consulting offers Business Consulting and Financial Management Solutions to businesses, professionals and corporations interested in maximizing their PROFIT & PRODUCTIVITY. Our solutions are: Business Consultancy, Financial Management and Productivity Solutions. Work smarter, not harder! We are offering a FREE DISCOVERY CALL. Schedule yours now at (832) 998-2136, Soledad@SoledadTanner.com; www.soledadtanner.com.


Soledad Tanner, M.I.B


Created with flickr slideshow.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Adriana en complicidad. Entrevista a Soledad Tanner # 2

¿Por qué las empresas necesitan una gestión financiera adecuada? ¿Cómo administrar el flujo de efectivo de su empresa? ¿Cuánto capital de trabajo necesita para cumplir con sus obligaciones? ¿Por qué necesitas un presupuesto? ¿Cómo debe controlar sus gastos?

Soledad Tanner Consulting explica estos temas y más en una entrevista con Adriana en Complicidad (AC Media TV; www.acmediaproductions.com), el abogado Randy Canche y CPA David Matos. Gracias Adriana R Calhoon por su apoyo y por darnos la oportunidad de compartir conocimientos financieros y consejos para nuestra comunidad.

Soledad Tanner, M.I.B

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

STC 3 Services Infographic

Do you want to maximize your profit and minimize your expenses? Work smarter, not harder! We are celebrating our 2nd anniversary and we are offering a FREE DISCOVERY CALL. Schedule yours now at (832) 998-2136, Soledad@SoledadTanner.com

We offer business consulting and financial management services to businesses, professionals and corporations interested in maximizing their PROFIT & PRODUCTIVITY. Visit us: www.soledadtanner.com


Thursday, March 29, 2018

Biografía Soledad Tanner

BIOGRAFIA

Soledad Tanner es la fundadora y directora ejecutiva de Soledad Tanner Consulting, LLC, una firma de gestión comercial y financiera que ayuda a mejorar la utilidad y la productividad de las empresas. Tiene 26 años de amplia experiencia internacional en finanzas y control, estrategia y consultoría, y desempeño y métricas en las industrias de logística y banca global. Su misión es ayudar a las empresas a encontrar áreas de mejora y oportunidades para aumentar sus ganancias al eliminar las dudas y proporcionar caminos claros hacia el cumplimiento de sus visiones. Tiene una sólida gestión de proyectos y habilidades de liderazgo organizacional y es eficaz en la comunicación de estrategias financieras complejas en términos simples y procesables que producen resultados. Ella logra estos resultados, con consideración de las personas afectadas y las necesidades humanas, lo que refleja su personalidad brillante que a su vez inflexiona sus números duros con la eficacia de sus ideas detrás de ellos.

EXPERIENCIA

Tanner fue una estrella en ascenso con Danzas, DHL Global Forwarding y Deutsche Post DHL Supply Chain, comenzando como Controlora Houston y Sur Oesta de Estados Unidos. La compañía valoró su fortaleza como líder eficiente, en conjunto con sus excelentes habilidades de personas y la promovió a Controladora de Proyectos Industriales y luego a Controladora de Ventas; Ambas posiciones la llevaron a liderar en todo EE. UU. La constante en su carrera profesional ha sido crear un análisis significativo, sin dejar de ser accesible, lo que le convenía en el rol de Directora de Recursos Humanos para todas las Américas. Esa posición mostró a Tanner como un estratega de negocios bilingüe y multicultural. Más tarde, puso su entusiasmo y velocidad para el cambio en la acción al encabezar la estrategia de Recursos Humanos Globales de DHL Directora Global de Estrategia, Desempeño y Métricas.

SOBRE MI

Tanner es ecuatoriana estadounidense con raíces suizas. Ella se desempeña como Vicepresidenta de HGSCA (Asociación de Ciudades Hermanas de Houston Guayaquil) y es miembro de la Cámara de Comercio Hispana de Houston. Ella ha vivido y trabajado en Ecuador, Estados Unidos, Uruguay, Reino Unido, India, Alemania y Suiza, es bilingüe y habla inglés y español con fluidez. Es mentora del programa Insight Alumni de la Universidad de St. Thomas (UST), donde obtuvo su maestría en Negocios Internacionales. Ella también posee un certificado de Liderazgo Organizacional de Rice University.


Saturday, March 24, 2018

To Control Your Life, Control What You Pay Attention To VENTURE CAPITAL VC Stereotypes About Men and Women Aren’t Supported by Performance Data

DANIEL HASKETT/GETTY IMAGES
Source: https://hbr.org/ Link: https://tinyurl.com/y7jnr6x5


by: Malin Malmstrom Aija Voitkane Jeaneth Johansson Joakim Wincent


Male entrepreneurs are the beneficiaries of the overwhelming majority of venture capital investments. But are their ideas really better investment opportunities for VCs than those pitched by women?

According to our research, the answer is “not necessarily.” In a two-part study, we observed that venture capitalists adopt markedly different stereotypical notions of female and male entrepreneurs during their decision-making processes. These stereotypical notions, which cast men as having traits better suited to starting successful companies, don’t hold up when compared with venture performance data from annual reports. In other words, there is no statistical evidence that a host of myths about female entrepreneurs is true.

Before presenting our study, some context is helpful. For several years, Sweden has been ranked number one in the EU Gender Equality Index. Nonetheless, statistics show that women-owned businesses, which account for one-third of Swedish businesses, are not granted the corresponding proportion of government venture financing; in fact, women-owned businesses receive only 7%. This percentage is remarkable because Swedish government venture capitalists must adhere to national and European equality regulations when granting financing to entrepreneurs.

To better understand this puzzling incoherence, we used interview data to study how 11 venture capitalists from two Swedish government organizations used notions of gender in their assessments of applications by 126 entrepreneurs (43% women and 57% men). We then collected objective performance data from accounting reports for the corresponding 126 ventures to statistically analyze relevant performance indicators and accounting information.

Our results reveal striking differences between venture capitalists’ gender-stereotypical beliefs and actual performance of these ventures. We identified four gender-stereotypical notions that reveal major differences in how VCs evaluate a venture’s potential based on the entrepreneur’s gender:

Assumption 1: Women are cautious and risk-averse, whereas men are ambitious and risk-taking.
This is one of the most common beliefs among the VCs we studied. Real statements categorized under this notion include:

“She is very cautious, as women often are, and she is careful in what she does, and she does not dare to invest.”

“It’s a fact that women are more cautious in their investments.”

“She is a typical woman: extremely risk-averse.”

In addition, when VCs discussed smaller investments, they targeted female entrepreneurs. Why? They perceived that women’s supposed risk aversion meant that women are reluctant to take on large financial obligations. One statement in particular highlights this: “It is enough with small financial means to achieve motivational effects on women’s venturing — they are not willing to invest that much, so it’s enough to support them with small financial means.”

In contrast, men were characterized as ambitious, risk-taking, and eager to test their ideas. This notion is reflected by statements such as “We have seen similar examples of driven, competent men who take risks and manage to make it thrive,” and “He has proven to sustain his persistence all the way.” Men’s ventures are often characterized as risk-taking ventures that need considerable financial support: “Usually, these producing companies are in need [of] the heaviest investments,” and “I have to say that great men are the ones making the heaviest investments compared to women.”

Assumption 2: Women are reluctant to grow their businesses, whereas men are willing to do so.
The belief that women’s ventures are unprofitable investments became apparent in statements such as:

“We should finance where we can contribute to high leverage and prioritize such businesses instead of financing hand-to-mouth enterprises, which women typically run.”

“She is extremely cost aware — this is not how you grow a company.”

In contrast, men were viewed as willing to grow their ventures. Typical statements portraying men as growth-ambitious and in need of financing include:

“His major problem is to find enough financial capital for the investments to grow.”

“He owns a big share of the company, and of course he wants to increase the production volume to raise the profitability and expand.”

“He is looking for a company to buy. That shows some guts to grow.”

Assumption 3: Women do not have resources to engage in high growth, whereas men do.
The VCs stated that, in all cases, they need to evaluate each venture’s financial status. They seemed especially sensitive to situations where female entrepreneurs failed to meet their standards, however. They often described women as lacking the resources to engage in high growth: “She just talks a lot and wants to get her hands on the money. The question is if she can rely on her own abilities.” This notion is also evident in statements about women’s lack of personal financial capital: “She doesn’t even have any savings to use for investments.”

In situations where men entrepreneurs had a poor financial footing, the venture capitalists were more forgiving, frequently overlooking financial issues and occasionally weighing men’s lack of financial status against their overall competence. For instance, in direct relation to men’s poor financial footing the VCs repeatedly expressed views such as: “I did [see] him as very competent. He knows what he is doing, and we have seen similar competent men before.” When male entrepreneurs did make sound investments, their successful resource acquisition was emphasized: “We saw that he is investing his own money in this,” and “He has the capacity to carry out the investment.”

Assumption 4: Women’s ventures underperform, whereas men’s ventures perform well.
The VCs often questioned the performance of women’s ventures, claiming they underperformed: “I can’t say that she is a bad entrepreneur, but the business is struggling.” Instead of acknowledging cases where women performed well, they commonly expressed doubts regarding women’s abilities to run businesses. The VCs even seemed surprised by women’s success at times: “She has zero understanding of running a business, but surprisingly, it seems to go well anyway.”

The venture capitalists’ expectations of men were completely different. They often defended men or found excuses when men’s venture performance was poor. Example statements reflecting the notion that men generally perform well in their business venturing include “With some help, he will succeed” and “He succeeded with his earlier business, so I think he can pull this one off.” Despite no clear evidence that several men’s ventures had performed or would perform well, the VCs trusted that these ventures would succeed: “His venture is not up and running yet, but he is on his way” and “He is approved for funding because he has worked in the industry for two years, so he has some experience.”
What the Data Actually Says

All four categories of beliefs shape VCs’ foundational views of entrepreneurial potential and the way that VCs evaluate this potential. But can these notions be substantiated? To test the substance of these notions, we accessed (through corporate identification number) and compared the venture performance data of the entrepreneurs that the VCs evaluated, at the time of their evaluation, using accounting information and key performance indicators. Such data reflects these businesses’ actual performance, the decisions made by the entrepreneurs regarding how they run their businesses, and their venturing activities such as sales, investment in facilities, employment, and production. We then chose specific measures to evaluate each of the four beliefs.

Risk-taking. We analyzed companies’ debt-to-equity ratio, equity ratio, risk buffer, property mortgage or the mortgage of the venture’s real estate ratio, the use of bank overdraft facilities/approved checking account ratio, and long-term liabilities or loans ratio. 

(For a full look at why we chose these measures, as well as the measures for the other three beliefs, see our methodology sidebar.) 

According to these measures, our results indicate no statistically significant differences between the ventures run by the women and men who applied for finance. 


Growth. To determine the validity of the notion that women are more reluctant to grow businesses than men are, we compared the following indicators, which relate to venture size and changes in venture size: turnover, growth in turnover, number of employees, and growth in number of employees.

Again, according to these measures, our results show no statistically significant differences between women and men who applied for finance.

Growth resources. To determine the validity of the notion that, unlike men, women lack the necessary resources for high growth, we considered information that reflects wealth potential that can be used to generate growth. We compared operating margin, the value of real estate, the value of machinery, information about shareholder contributions, dividendable capital, and approved checking account or bank overdraft facilities.

Our results indicate no statistically significant differences between women and men who apply for finance when analyzed using these measures.

Underperformance. To determine the validity of the notion that women’s ventures underperform, we compared accounting data on efficiency and profitability. This includes return on total capital or assets ratios, return on capital employed, profit margin, the turnover per employee ratio, capital turnover ratio, and earnings before interest and tax or operating profit.

These results show no statistically significant differences between women and men who apply for finance.

In total, none of the beliefs VCs expressed about female versus male entrepreneurs could be backed up by data related to how ventures actually performed.

Our research shows that VCs clearly evaluate entrepreneurs differently when it comes to gender. Because of this, female entrepreneurs may face difficulties in gaining credibility because different standards are used to evaluate their performance. At the same time, these beliefs have no basis in fact. The unique study design allows for the positioning our results as a means for pushing hard for VCs’ self-examination. We encourage VCs to reevaluate how they discuss entrepreneurs and how they distribute funding

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Women's Leadership Conference and Business Expo

Soledad Tanner Consulting was present at the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Women’s Leadership Conference & Business Expo at the Hilton Americas - Houston! We offer business consulting and financial management services to businesses, professionals and corporations interested in maximizing their profit and productivity. Worker smarter, not harder! Contact us for a free discovery call! 

More than 700 leaders were inspired by Dr. Laura Murillo-President & CEO HHCC passion and leadership and had the first Latina Governor in the U.S. serve as keynote speaker. The honorable Susana Martinez, Governor of New Mexico. Nelly Quijano, Franchise Owner’s McDonalds, Mary Jo Rapini, M.Ed. LPC, Brian Hall, Manager Supplier Diversity & Outreach Small Business Officer, Shell and many other incredible speakers.

Video here:



Pictures here:


Created with flickr slideshow.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Women’s Leadership Conference & Business Expo - 2018

Stop by and visit Soledad Tanner Consulting expo table at the 2018 Women’s Leadership Conference & Business Expo organized by the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. We will be at the Hilton Americas- Houston, this Thursday March 15th from 8 am – 2 pm. It will be great talk to you and share tips that will guide you to increase the profit and productivity of your company.

Did you know that Women-owned businesses in the Houston Metropolitan area generate over $40 billion in annual revenue year over year and that they account for more than 30% of all businesses in the Houston area?

Monday, March 5, 2018

Hard Work is Not Enough

Photo by Li Yang on Unsplash

Source: Thriveglobal.com
 https://tinyurl.com/y7wm4y8d

There is more to success than working damn hard…everyday.

by : Thomas Oppong


There is more to success than working damn hard…everyday.

It is often said hard work is the only one way to succeed. Well, turns out you need more than just hard work.

Hard work isn’t enough to succeed in today’s world.

By all means, get it done, and become obsessed with your goal. Work hard at it, but you have to do more than working hard to succeed.

That doesn’t mean hard work has no practical value.

Working hard significantly raises your chances of success but you can’t rely soley in putting in the hours.

Hard work is important to success, but it’s dangerous to see it as the most important thing.

There has to be more to success than merely working hard, or millions of people around the world would be a lot more successful than they are!

Take a minute to think about the people you think are successful.

Now take a minute to think about people who are not so successful.

Nearly everyone at the top is hard working, but most people at the bottom are hard working too.

So, hard work is a requirement to be well off but hard work itself does not mean you will succeed.

Hard work is necessary to achieve a goal, but it is not a defining factor.

Tim Hererra writes in The New York Times, “The people at the top of any given field didn’t get there just by working hard. Yes, hard work is necessary, but just as important is being smart about the work you’re doing, and focusing on doing the things that will help you improve.”

Hard work sometimes pays off, but smart thinking combined with smart work will always pay off in the long run even if you stumble in the short term.

Working hard does not necessarily means you are being productive.

In Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business, Charles Duhigg explains what it means to be productive:

“Productivity, put simply, is the name we give our attempts to figure out the best uses of our energy, intellect, and time as we try to seize the most meaningful rewards with the least wasted effort. It’s a process of learning how to succeed with less stress and struggle..”

Input vs. output

Of course, most worthwhile goals require hard work.

Sometimes they take days, weeks, even years of consistent effort.

Malcolm Gladwell argues in his book, Outliers that to become an expert, you need to put in roughly 10,000 hours (that’s three hours a day for ten years).

Success isn’t just about how long or how hard you work – it’s about what you work at. And why you keep working at it.

Is your effort moving the needle?

Success is absolutely about what you focus on and ensuring you use your time productively.

Millions of people have become too preoccupied with “the grind,” and it’s actually burning them out.

In a creative pursuit, you can work as hard as you can and still not get as far as someone who works different and on the right things at the right time.

Long hours don’t equal hard work. They just equal long hours.

What’s the story you keep telling yourself about working hard?

The time you put in has nothing to do with how hard something is.

Scott Young says hard isn’t enough to succeed in todays world.

He writes, “When working towards a goal, everyone takes a look at their inputs and then examines their results. Most people have learned to view the major input as effort. In other words, if I want to become a millionaire, I’ll need a certain amount of effort to achieve it.”

Scott argues that hard work is being replaced by three other factors that will be far more important in the future: creativity, relationships and learning.

“Effort should take a backseat to the amount of creativity, relationships or learning we require. So if you want to become a millionaire, you’ll need a certain amount of creativity, connections or understanding to get there,” says Scott.

Dont’ just work hard in isolation. Build relationships. Questions your routines, choices, and your actions. There is always a better approach to the same destination.

Constantly ask yourself, “Would this matter to anyone else but me?” If the answer to that question is yes, then ask yourself, “Is it worth my time or expense to add it or change it?”

Don’t aim for perfection. The real world rewards those who ship and get stuff done.

Focus on deep work instead of working hard on shallow work

There are endless number of things you can do to achieve a goal.

Deep work advances your goals while shallow work it is what you do to avoid real work. Shallow work rarely gets you closer to your goals.

Go for the most important tasks – the ones that cause the highest impact.

Many of us confuse being “busy” with being effective, or efficient.

If you start your day by answering emails. You could get sucked into answering questions, replying to every email, and advancing the cause of other people’s actions.

Being efficient at the wrong pursuit is not the same as being effective at the right tasks. The two are not the same.

Someone who works hard or smart and is well organised but spends all their time on unimportant tasks may be efficient but not effective.

Time is finite, and there are only so many hours in the business day. So the trick to working smarter is simple: Work more efficiently.

To be effective, you need to be able to separate important tasks from urgent ones and focus on getting important activities done when you are most active.

Managing your time isn’t about squeezing as many tasks into your day as possible. It’s about simplifying how you work, doing things better and faster, and knowing when to take a break and refresh.

Don’t get caught up in reactive mode.

“Most of us have no problem with being busy, but we’re often busy on the wrong things,” says Angie Morgan, co-author of Spark: How to Lead Yourself and Others to Greater Success. “You could spend nine to five just emailing, but that’s not driving results or moving you toward longer, bigger goals. When people say, ‘I’m so busy,’ it really means, ‘I’m a poor planner,’ or, ‘I don’t know how to prioritize or delegate,” Angie argues.

If you know how motivation works, you will know it comes in bursts and waves.

It’s not possible to maintain a 100% full motivated state every single second. Hence, you need to create/leverage on your environment to maintain your flow.

Use the 80/20 rule to your advantage.

The rule says that 20% of the causes gives 80% of the effects. So always spend your attention on the top 20% things which give the most returns.

Take the 80/20 route.

There are always many different ways to achieve the same outcome.

80/20 route refers to the route that takes the least effort but gives you the maximum results. What’s the most effective route that will get you from where you are to where you want to be? Take that path.

Measure results to improve work efficiency!

Review your routines regularly.

Do a regular review of what you have done in the past week and the corresponding results.

Then analyze the things that are working and the things that aren’t working. With the former, keep them; with the latter, remove them.

Very soon you will have a very streamlined list of things that work.

Burnout is real.

It stresses you out, costs you money, and damages your health.

Being truly effective (and not just working hard) is the result of strategic thinking, focus, and carefully applied mental or physical muscle.

Make time in your schedule to relax daily, weekly, and monthly.

Don’t let your hard work stand in the way of your success.

The work you purposely choose to do should make your work life stronger and better–not just busier and stressful.

Before you go…

If you enjoyed this post, you will love Postanly Weekly (my free digest of the best productivity, psychology, and neuroscience posts). Subscribe and get a free copy of my new book, “The Power of One Percent Better: Small Gains, Maximum Results”. Join over 38,000 people on a mission to build a better life.

Originally published at journal.thriveglobal.com

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Looking to increase profits? 1- Hour complimentary consultation


Xavier, tax season is here! Are you rushing to organize your invoices and expenses for your Accountant? Did you reach the profit level you wish for? Do you want to do better this year? WE CAN HELP!

We offer customized FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS that fit your business needs and budget.

Don’t worry if you are not a number person. We specialize in maximizing profit and productivity. Call us for a complimentary consultation at 832-998-2136


Soledad Tanner Consulting, LLC ©
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Recomended reading: 4 Things You Should Do to Prepare Your Small Business for 2018


With the end of yet another great year it’s time to prep ourselves for the next. Small business owners take this time to evaluate their accomplishments and set the course for what’s ahead.

Continue reading this article >>
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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Re-balancing life and living purposefully!



Re-balancing life and living purposefully! Soledad Tanner Consulting Founder will share her story. 

“After 26 years of a successful Global Finance Corporate career where, I traveled the world, lived in various countries, received my Masters in International Business, reached and exceeded all my professional goals. Despite all of this success, I realized my health had suffered and needed to re-balance and make changes” 



Monday, February 26, 2018

New CEOs need fortitude, curiosity and savvy to succeed



Written by: Karen Talley


Quite a few CEOs are just stepping in to their positions, or in their first year or so, and while degrees and business experience are valuable, they don’t give the full picture of what’s needed—and not—to run a company.

Dealing with personnel and organizational issues, as well as stakeholders, customers and products are just a few of the hurdles many will face. It’s a time of trial by fire that demands a deft touch, inquisitiveness, patience and fortitude. 


Fortunately, many experienced CEOs are willing to give advice.

“The first, and best piece of advice I can pass on to a new CEO is the one most people already know but can easily lose sight of in the onslaught of day-to-day tasks: It’s all about your people,” said Todd Piett, CEO of Rave Mobile Safety. “The only way you can scale yourself and your organization is by encouraging an atmosphere of respect and trust, where across all levels of the organization people are empowered to make decisions, be comfortable making mistakes and willing to challenge the status quo.”
Consistency counts

Also, be consistent. “A great mentor told me not to try and be someone you aren’t,” Piett said. “While we all have areas to improve upon, don’t put on an artificial mantel just because you took on a new title. It’s not sustainable and others will see the inconsistencies in your behavior, frustrating themselves as they try to guess your intent.”

To be successful, a new CEOs should focus on identifying and building collaboration within their organizations and across other industries that impact their customer base, said Tracy Duberman, CEO of The Leadership Development Group. This will require the following, she said:
  • Envisioning the future. New CEOs must have a clear vision of the direction their organization is heading and what it hopes to achieve.
  • Aligning stakeholders. As organizations bring stakeholders from other sectors into the conversation, new CEOs must allow these stakeholders to build on their original vision and incorporate their inputs and interests to develop a shared solution.
  • Managing boundaries and obstacles. Along the way toward developing collaborative solutions, the partnership will likely be faced with some bumps along the road. To overcome these obstacles, it’s important that new CEOs focus on opportunity, and remind themselves why the partnership was developed in the first place.
  • Act and learn. It is critical to be open to giving and receiving feedback in the interest of evolving that vision to the benefit of all parties. 

As a new CEO, “if you want to become a better leader, the one skill to improve above all others is communication,” said Art Coombs, CEO of KomBea Corp. “The ability to enthusiastically convey an idea, direction and vision to others is critical. And this critical skill is the one skill that truly separates ho-hum management from motivating leadership.”

It is imperative that a new CEO hold strengths in both strategy formulation and execution said Howard Seidel, senior partner at Essex Partners.

A cohesive unit

Development of the executive team into a cohesive unit is essential and CEOs' need to have or develop strong political instincts, Seidel said. “They need to effectively manage their relationships among board members and understand the sometimes unspoken commitments that exist inside an organizational culture. New CEO’s needs to understand how much board and team support they have for certain initiatives.”

In terms of personal traits, “new CEOs are best served combining confidence with some humility and curiosity,” Seidel said. “Projecting confidence is important but that is not mutually exclusive from a new CEO acknowledging that he or she doesn’t know everything, and benefiting from the point of view of older employees in the organization.”

But, “seeking input doesn’t absolve CEOs from understanding that they are ultimately responsible for final decisions,” Seidel said. “New CEOs often can relate to the adage that ‘it’s lonely at the top.’ Similarly, because not all executive decisions will be applauded by everyone in an organization, new CEOs need to have a thick skin, or have the capacity to develop it quickly.”

The unexpected

“You can prepare best by expecting the unexpected,” said Tom Axbey, CEO of CloudHealth. “What you think you know doesn't matter; the question is: have you done your due diligence, and do you have a 100-day plan? The brochure is always different from the resort. Be prepared to listen. To do that, you have to invest from day one in the people.”

Kelley Knutson, president of Netspend, advises new CEOs to use their initial period of time as an outsider to observe, listen and learn how an organization operates and ask a lot of questions beginning with “why” or “what.”

This relates to “sales practices, customer engagement, product development/delivery, operational processes and the competitive landscape,” Knutson said. “Use the things you have two of (eyes and ears) often, and only use your mouth after you’ve objectively understood the situation at hand and can add real value.” 

At the same time, “Ask the right questions, at the right time, to extract real insight and show people you’re listening and care about what they’ve said and what they know about their business,” Knutson said. “This is critically important when leading a group of seasoned, and experienced, leaders who will know the details of the business better than you.”

Openness matters

To do the best job, “be open, engaging, passionate, supportive, humble, inquisitive, and make the journey rewarding for everyone,” Knutson said. “That’s what true leadership is about.”

When Kathleen Savio, CEO of Zurich North America, took the CEO spot, “the first thing I did was focus on my strengths—the contributions I can make to the job. Authentic leadership is where it all begins. For me, I’m inspired by the power of words and use them as a tool to inspire others. My favorite quote is an African proverb: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

“That’s the real purpose of a CEO-–to bring everyone together, united in action, with a common purpose. So, I gathered our leaders together to listen to their insights and to emphasize we are o CEOs can get so occupied with running the business that they don’t spend time directly with their customers. I’m making time with our customers a priority for me. In my first 100 days, I’m on the road meeting with customers and listen to their needs. In the end, it’s all about being there for our customers.”

Stay healthy

“As a new CEO, you will quickly notice that operating in a high-stress environment can take its toll physically, mentally and emotionally,” said Lowinn Kibbey, ‎global head, Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute. “This can carry over from the office to all areas of life. While you may be fully equipped to take on a new leadership role, you may not realize just how important it is to stay healthy and resilient, and to continue to develop and improve your character.”

“As you establish yourself in your new role, don’t lose sight of your purpose,” Kibbey said. “Continue to ask yourself: What are you chasing? Why are you chasing it? Who are you becoming as you’re chasing it? Ensuring your decisions align with your character and values can significantly impact your work and quality of life.”