15 Useful Management Tips for New C-Level Executives

07/31/2017 09:29 am ET

Becoming a C-level executive can be both exhilarating and frightening, as the new position comes not only with a bigger paycheck and better company status, but also with enhanced responsibilities and pressure to get things right. Unfortunately there is no one-size-fits-all rule that all executives should follow to ensure success, so how can you know when and if you’re making the right decisions? Here are a few useful management tips that can help new C-level execs find their feet and excel on the job.

A. Establish a Solid Company Culture

Build a great company culture. Establish your culture from day one and never, ever compromise on your core principles as you grow, by judiciously hiring the right people and quickly firing the wrong people. The latter includes those who are high performers but are a bad cultural fit. They will drag down the team around them and eventually your company, as well. - Erik Bullen, MageMail

A. Listen Intently to Your Staff

Even when dealing with your greenest employees, there are many different things to learn from them. Understanding how they engage with online media, how they enjoy personal time and their various other interests can provide important insight on their demographic, as well as how to best incentivize them. - Russell Kommer, eSoftware Associates Inc.

A. Measure Everything by the Core Vision of Your Company

I believe that every C-level executive must know the company's core vision, that one thing his or her company strives to change, and make sure that every feature, every campaign, every recruitment serves that one goal. That way you stay loyal to your vision and don't let the roller coaster of startup life determine your path. - Ariel Assaraf, Coralogix

A. Learn to Appreciate Different Management Styles

There are lots of different management styles, and lots of different styles of getting work done, for that matter. I think it's a normal human reaction to have a slight bias in thinking your way is the best way. As a new manager, it's important to remember that it doesn't matter how the work gets done, as long as it gets done correctly. - Brittany Hodak, ZinePak

A. Learn to Delegate

As a C-level executive, you’ve been tasked with looking at the bigger picture of your entire operation. It might be easier to just execute a task on your own, but your new C-level position requires you to work beyond that. So, you’ll need to delegate. That means getting out of the way of your employees and trusting them to follow through. - Duran Inci, Optimum7

A. Err on the Side of Being Decisive

The most successful managers recognize they do not have time to get all of the facts for the dozens of decisions they make each day. Instead, they should just gather enough information to make sound decisions so the company can move forward. Some of those decisions will be wrong, but it’s better to learn from those mistakes and try again, than to be immobilized by indecisiveness. - Doug Bend, Bend Law Group, PC

A. Focus on Your Patience and Stay Positive

It's so easy to get frustrated as a new leader, but the best thing you can do is focus on staying patient. Time will reveal all and will solve issues that are bugging you. Keeping to the positive also helps your frustration level and maintains a good vibe that your team will pick up on and run with. - Murray Newlands, Sighted

A. Learn What It Takes to Inspire

Invest a portion of your time and energy into actively learning about what it takes to inspire others. Talk like TED by Carmine Gallo is a good starting point. You'll be speaking in front of your employees often, so it will help for you to improve your knowledge of effective speaking and charisma. - Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

A. Over-Communicate

Do not underestimate the value of over-communicating with your teams. From complex company issues down to the most simple, basic issues, you cannot communicate too much. What you think everybody understands or should understand is usually far from the truth about what’s understood day-to-day inside your working teams. Strong communication from leadership breeds success in your organization. - Brendon Schrader, Antenna

A. Focus on the Fundamentals

Many executives fail by being indecisive or by being too aggressive and overlooking the fundamentals of successful entrepreneurship. Don't be afraid to invest and take risks in order to grow your company, but always keep your cash flow in check, test your product and know that not every idea is worth doing. Make calculated decisions to grow your company while keeping your eye on the balance sheet. - Andy Karuza, FenSens

A. Get a Business Coach and Never Stop Learning

Getting a business coach and educating yourself to improve as a better executive should be imperative. Your inexperience can lead to the company's failure, and a business coach can help you avoid such demise and propel you to be a more functional leader. Personality improvement training and leadership training can also benefit you as you try to lead your team and ascend to higher roles. - Daisy Jing, Banish

A. Stay Real

Executive positions can cause people to lose touch of what truly matters for a business because of the big position and the C-level title. Remain in the trenches, don't hide behind your executive desk just because of your new title. On the contrary: Spend more time with the team, dress down and get involved in the daily operations. You will become a stronger leader. - Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors

A. Create a Rhythm

As you manage more team members, creating a rhythm becomes increasingly important — consistent daily/weekly/quarterly meetings, your approach to giving feedback, data and KPI metrics, objective setting and so on should all have a flow. It will help your team come to expect what they are going to get from you as a manager, while helping you map out your schedule and manage the team effectively. - Matt Murphy, Kids in the Game

A. Never Lose Focus of Your Employees

While you certainly need to be concerned about the financial part of a business, without your employees you have no company. There have been some recent reports where employee concerns were ignored while the executives focused solely on the business. If you lose focus of your employees and culture, your company could soon crumble as well. - Scott Kacmarski, Reps Direct

A. See the Leaves Through the Corporate Tree

When you attain this level of success, micromanaging is what you have graduated OUT of. In order to retain control of systems and find creative solutions to problems of the teams beneath you, spend time celebrating particular team assets that are working well, while reworking those that are not. Singling out achievements with personal touches is a great way to lead and inspire your audience. - Matthew Capala, Search Decoder

These answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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