Top 10 Questions an Incoming CEO Should Ask – from McKinsey & Co.

Top 10 Questions an Incoming CEO Should Ask – from McKinsey & Co.

Guest Post by Gary B. Cohen

CEO transition checklist:

1. Have I reflected on the context of my transition—not just from my own perspective, but from that of all key stakeholders?

2. Have I established in my own mind the time frame and intended outcomes of my leadership transition?

3. Have I established my initial set of priorities with a full understanding of what others expect of me?

4. How will I control my agenda and allocate my time?

5. Have I developed a clear process and time frame for selecting my top team?

6. Have I committed sufficiently to building a relationship with my chairman and board?

7. Do I have a mechanism for building the necessary support office and infrastructure?

8. Have I thought through my communications plan internal and external?

9. Do I have a mechanism for getting balanced feedback and information?

10. Have I established appropriate personal ground rules?

Gary B. Cohen is Managing Partner and co-founder of CO2 Partners, an executive coaching and leadership development firm, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He specializes in coaching entrepreneurs and often draws on his experience co-founding ACI Telecentrics, Inc. (with just $4,000), which he helped grow from 2 to 2,200 employees with 13 offices in the US and Canada. He attributes much of his success to asking questions—the foundation of his book Just Ask Leadership:  Why Great Managers Always Ask the Right Questions. Learn more at