Does it have to be this tough at the top?

The disciplines have been gained. They’ve been honed in business over a couple of decades. They’ve been extended and broadened through experience, professional development, successive challenges and rigorous competition.

Aspiration for the top job has never wavered. Now the prize has been offered and it has been accepted.

So there you are day one.

New role. New title. How does it feel? Well, maybe not so good.

A recent study of 50 chief executives of global companies indicated that the biggest challenge faced by high-level managers was learning how to adapt to their new responsibilities.

It also revealed that 82% of them think they are left to sink or swim during the first 100 days of taking on their new job.

They also felt under pressure to make an early impact. More than a fifth regarded building trust among their employees as their toughest task with 24% stating they were determined to construct a high-achieving team within the first quarter of being appointed.

Overall, the vast majority of new senior executives feel they are offered insufficient training and support in the early stages of fulfilling their position.

These findings may come as no surprise, although the issue that four out of five new CEO’s feel they are left to fend for themselves as they start a new position should be viewed with concern as a wasted opportunity.

For highly skilled senior executive training, counselling and support is available and should be part of the recruitment or new appointment discussions and package.

A period of appropriate input should be provided before the CEO’s start date and for the critical first six months.

Yes, it can be tough at the top. But the more successful the new person is at taking the reins and holding them with confidence the better the potential for the CEO and the business or organisation they lead.