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Four Tips for New CEOs from 24 Companies

“What advice would you give to a new listed MD/CEO on their first day of work?”.


Here are the top responses.


(1) “Beware advice from all the people who haven’t done it before

Your role is super public, and anyone who has invested in stock worked in a listed company, been a broker, adviser or more, will be ready with a quick 3-punch combination of advice.


Pow, pow, pow.


The word here is: Take all advice in, but massively dilute advice from anyone who hasn’t sat in the seat before. Not only do they lack direct exposure, but you also need to be conscious of their incentives. 


“Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome” - Munger was spot on here.


If you’re reading this, you will get the irony. Because whilst I study the art of being listed, I have never been in your seat. 


Hopefully, my advice is useful - but I agree here. This is all input, trends, data. My goal is to try and crowdsource lessons, learnings and then share with you all. With that in mind, I encourage you all to take it with a pinch of salt and seek out differing perspectives from other sources. 


And own your decision.

(2) “Being CEO of a listed company can be lonely and challenging but there is a strong peer support network out there with diverse experience ready to help.”

This was great to hear. 


And to be honest, this one was feedback after the night from an attendee. So more of a discovery on the night than in the moment commentary. 


But it holds true.


Being a CEO is hard. Being a listed CEO is much harder. Sometimes unwarrantedly so.


You have peers - they just work at different companies. If you want to experience this, or lean in more, let me know and you can come to one of the dinners where this is the expressed goal. 

(3) “It’s never as bad as it seems, it’s never as good as it seems.”

It all comes in waves


I think as a listed CEO/MD, you have so many more things to keep a finger on, the juggle is real. Not just growing a company and managing a team but all the market facing aspects of being listed too.

Trying to keep the team on a long-term focused view, whilst having to deliver to the market’s short-term desire.


These things come up and down. Know that when it's bad, it will get better, and savour the good times too.

(4) “Take advantage of the good times”

A good segway from the above - know that good times won’t last forever. Avid readers will know about the Three M’s of your share price, and sometimes Macro aspects will come and smack you (and your share price) in the face.


No-one in Nickel or Lithium thought the sell off was going to be as bad for so long. The “lucky” ones raised beforehand and can get through. The others are sweating it out and hurting.


The lesson? Know when it is good and take advantage of it. Raise when you can, not when you must. Use the good momentum to start/stop things you want to move on. 

When the share price is good, it is almost like you have a popular mandate, so use that to get things done that you can’t in harder times.

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