Being a CEO: The First 100 days

Wow that went fast. 4 months in post already and I feel sure I am finally finding my feet!  Each day has been different and each day is incredibly BUSY.  Work life balance, what’s that?  Its definitely a case of what has to be done has to be done now, though I’m optimistic work will level out!

Having already worked for the organisation for 4000 days and counting I heeded advice from the ACEVO ‘The Chief Executive’s First 100 days‘ and began by acting like an outsider.

Of course most people knew me but they all knew me as an Ops Director not a Chief Exec and I couldn’t assume anyone knew of my intentions once I took up the role.  I’ve embarked on a process of attending staff team meetings, a process which is still on-going but incredibly valuable.  The next phase is to set up a series of meet and greet spaces with service users.

I’ve met individually with our Board members to find out how they feel about the functioning of the board, if they feel comfortable in speaking out and whether they are as involved in the organisation as much as they would like, had hoped or expected. I’ve had photo shoots, a live twitter chat, taken part in the Time to Change take 5 campaign, received a Best Companies award, found cover for critical senior roles to cover serious illness and met with many CEO’s across Yorkshire by way of introduction and forming new partnerships!

I learn something new everyday and make decisions at a rate of knots, time will be the great teller of how good these decisions prove to be but I can honestly say I am enjoying this job, despite its ability to provoke anxiety in even the most stalwart of folk.

In addition I had BIG shoes to fill, as everyone kept reminding me, so I’ve decided to wear a different pair entirely!  I supervise those who were my peers but understanding the relationship change is about roles and the attached authority enables this transition.

This year’s Best Companies award (our highest place ever at 26) was down to the efforts and approach of the outgoing CEO so next year it will be interesting to see the results!

Ruth Kettle, new CEO of Community Links

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