CEOs are full of immaculate wisdom and guidance, but even they are bound to make mistakes, especially in their early years of running a company. This huge role could easily overtake a personal life. Therefore, it is vital to find space (and time) in order to take a step back and peer at yourself with a fresh set of eyes to ensure your job is getting done efficiently.

Rather than slipping into the whirlwind of seemingly never-ending tasks and vanishing time, learn from the mistakes of others rather than making them yourself.

Without further ado, here is a list of the most common mistakes that CEO’s make, but should definitely learn to avoid:

1. Over Micromanaging

This is a tough one to learn not to do. CEOs want to be certain that everything is done perfectly. However, this takes up their time and puts unnecessary responsibility on their plate. Before they know it, the CEO will be overexerting themselves by knit-picking every minor task, which, in a large corporation, will eat up hours each day. Extreme micromanaging will distract the CEO, tracking them far away from their own role in the company, which is to oversee everything, but focus on the major goals ahead.

Trust your employees to get their work done. You hired them for their immaculate capability, so trust your intuition of hiring decent people, and lean on the integrity of your staff to hold their own work. Of course, follow-up with them by making sure the majority of their work is being accomplished in an efficient fashion. However, let them take responsibility for their own jobs.

2. Condoning the Company’s Culture

Not following through with a promise to maintain a workplace where employees are cared for on a personal level is possibly the worst thing to happen to a company. Employees should want to go to work, have fun, and be proud that they work there.

CEOs who constantly nag and demean employees create a hostile work environment. Nobody wants to work for someone who never notices their exceptional effort, or is worked tirelessly without any perks, like a simple company lunch-in every once in a while. At the end of the day, it’s the little pleasurable things in life that make it all worth it!

Top 10 Mistakes Every CEO Should Avoid

3. Calling the Shots When Unsure

Yes, you’re the CEO, but you’re still human, and, therefore, it’s impossible to know every right end all the time. Consequently, when a CEO is uncertain about a company move, rather than hastily making orders to seem in
charge, consider holding a meeting, casting a vote, and listening to the opinions of employees. Certainly, someone in the company will have a sensible input, and will appreciate that you consider their thoughts.

4. Letting the Ego Get in the Way

You know that gut-wrenching feeling when a decision is too risky, or when your tummy flips because a deal is too good to be true. Don’t let your ego or sense of risk overtake these feelings, urging you in one direction. Don’t lose the time to be quiet and follow your intuition; its usually right. Pursuing the right thing will typically lead your company in a fruitful direction.

5. Keeping Subpar Employees Around

Many companies hire staff based on connection, and though sometimes this can produce successful employees, it often leads individuals feeling privileged. This self esteem, though not necessarily a bad virtue, can lead staff array and cause them to slack on their duties rather than embracing it with hard work. This can also become dangerous because your personal relationship with them can interfere with critical communication, especially when they are in need of constructive criticism. They often don’t receive it because of the fear of disrupting harmony.

When this happens, don’t be afraid to diligently talk to underproductive staff to kick-start their efficiency, or even cut loose ends that are doing more harm than good. Of course, don’t make the same mistake as JC Penny’s CEO and fire half the team, but if a replacement is necessary to drive your company – go for it!

6. Taking Too Long to Set a Goal

Everyone needs a goal to fight for, and it’s never too early to set some sights. However, allowing the company to live day-by-day without any clear expectations confuses everyone and doesn’t help any sense of purpose. Set up quarterly goals, or have your employees find personal goals to strive for in order to keep production steady and the staff constantly striving for knowledge and improvement.

Top 10 Mistakes Every CEO Should Avoid

7. Setting Unrealistic Expectations

However, setting improper goals may be just as hazardous to a business than not setting any objective. Aspirations that can never be reached lead to disappointments and stresses. Clear and practical expectations are vital to rev up a company and keep a team on track.

8. Losing the Balance Between Work and Life

Some CEO’s think that long hours mean that they’re getting work done. However, this just takes time away from their friends, family, and exercise routines that keep their bodies and minds alert, happy, and balanced. Not to mention, running a “sweat shop” will create bitterness within your staff and ultimately make your production suffer in the long run. Prioritize tasks to ensure everything will get done at a decent time and the entire staff will welcome the next projects knowing they have support behind them.

9. Failing to Communicate Up and Down the Ladder

Understanding employees’ perspectives and caring about their work reflects how much they respect you as a CEO. Take the time to know your employees and make a welcoming environment where even “lower level” staff can feel confident enough to communicate wishes and desires with you. Every tier of an industry works towards the same goal so hold everyone with the same respect and responsibility.

Top 10 Mistakes Every CEO Should Avoid

10. Ignoring the Customer by Putting Too Much Attention into the Metrics

Metrics and numbers will evolve as the company does. Don’t get too caught up in the numbers game, but rather focus on the customers’ wants and needs to increase not only metrics, but the repertoire of the company as well.


CEOs have a direct effect on a company, steering them towards success or driving them into the ground. Keep priorities straight, take a break when necessary, and be open to criticism and communication with employees. Everything will flow smoothly if you keep a tightly ran business with the sincerity of harmony and equality in mind.