The average CEO spends about five years on the job. When you started your company or stepped into the role of CEO in someone else’s place, you probably realized that it wouldn’t be a permanent position. Even if you enjoy the work you do, or are proud of the company you created, you want to move on and try new things at some point. Timing is important when stepping down from the role of CEO. You might not want to leave when things are going very well for your business, but you also don’t want to wait until the company is quickly declining. Often, there are some signs that will help you recognize that it’s time to step down and pass on the reins to the next CEO.
The Company Has Come to a Standstill
When you started your company or started in the role of CEO, it’s likely you have lots of ideas for the business, both in terms of products and services to offer. You might have been making plans to move into new markets and had been on the lookout for new talent to hire. If you’ve found that your idea well has run dry or that you’re no longer interested in moving the company forward, it might be a good idea to bring on someone else who is excited about the company’s potential and who is ready to take the steps needed to help the company keep on going and reach its potential.
It could also be the case that the longer you’ve been the CEO of a company, the more comfortable you’ve gotten in the role. While you might have been interested in challenging and pushing yourself and the business at the beginning, you’ve now gotten to the point where you’re fine with the status quo and aren’t looking for ways to stretch or grow the business.
Employees Are Disengaged
Sometimes, employees can see that it’s time for a big change at a company long before the leadership does. If your team doesn’t feel like their ideas are listened to or that their concerns are heard, they might start to disconnect from their work and their roles. Disengaged employees can exhibit a lack of interest in the jobs they do and in the overall culture of a company. In extreme cases, disengaged employees create a toxic work environment, one with bullying and inefficient communication.
As the CEO of a company, it’s important to check in with your team regularly and to monitor employee performance and engagement. If you’re starting to hear rumblings from team members and you’re not interested in working with them to find a solution or to improve the work environment, that can be a sign that it’s time to find someone else who’s excited to improve company culture and to value the input from employees.
The CEO Is Looking for the Next Thing
In some cases, your company might still be doing well, but you yourself are looking to move on. You might find yourself interested in a new industry or in a different type of business concept and want to explore that.
It could also be that the skills you’re using as a CEO aren’t the skills you’re most excited about. For example, if you come from a technical background, you might have found that you had to set aside your technical skills as the CEO, to focus on building up managerial and leadership skills. If that’s the case, you can hand control of the company over to someone who wants to flex their leadership muscle, giving yourself the chance to re-focus on what’s most valuable to you.
The Company Wants to Grow
Another sign that it’s time to step down as the CEO of a company is if you and the company are no longer on the same page. You might be comfortable keeping the business where it is, but others might believe that it’s time to move into a new market or introduce another product line. It’s natural for CEOs and companies to get to a point where their paths diverge. If that’s the case, the best thing to do is step down and let your business move in the direction it wants to go.
If you’re not sure what’s next for your business or if it’s time to move on as the CEO, a virtual CFO can help you figure out what to do. Talk to New Direction Capitaltoday to see how working with a virtual CFO can help your company.