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What Sucks About Being the CEO of a Large Company?

A man pointing to a ceo on computer screen.

I’ve been the CEO of a large company for over 5 years now, and let me tell you, there are a lot of things that suck about it. First, you have to deal with a lot of politics. Everyone wants a piece of the action, and they all want to be in your good graces.

It can be really tough to navigate through all of that and make everyone happy. Here are the top 11 things that aggravate me about being a CEO and how I work through it to keep everything running smoothly.

1. Making Decisions That Affect a Lot of People

Serious ceo concentrating on reading online data.

This is probably the most challenging part of being CEO. You decide daily matters that impact many people, and sometimes you don’t have all the information you need to make the right call. You always want to make the best decision possible for your company, but it’s impossible to please everyone.

In these situations, nearly everyone has wins and regrettable failures.

2. Dealing with Corporate Politics

A hand of a politician.

As I mentioned before, there’s a lot of politics in any large company. You have to be very careful about what you say and who you say it to, or you’ll find yourself in trouble. It’s crucial to develop strong relationships with your key players, but you also need to be careful not to step on anyone’s toes.

Sometimes, it includes biting your tongue on matters you feel strongly about. You’re always under the microscope, so you have to be very careful. It’s common to spend time reminding yourself that you represent the company’s views and not your personal opinions.

3. Handling Executive Conflicts

Presenting a document with financial indicators.

I don’t have to deal with staff management problems. My managers and other department heads micromanage those issues. Instead, I face executive conflicts between board members and other high-ranking company officials.

These disagreements are often harder to solve and require more patience than conflicts between coworkers. It’s my job as CEO to try to mediate these disputes and find resolutions everyone can live with.

4. Dealing with Criticism

A pregnant ceo packing belongings.

No one is perfect, and as a CEO, you will make mistakes. When that happens, you’ll inevitably face criticism from employees, shareholders, and the media. You need to have a thick skin and be able to accept criticism gracefully.

The head of the company’s position is also an acting job. It’s the only way to learn from your mistakes and become a better CEO. It also helps you handle the people who’ll be gunning for your job if it looks like you’re going to fall.

You’re always performing for someone, your board, your shareholders, staff, media, and competitors.

5. Handling Pressure

Potrait of a asian ceo standing with tablet in his office.

There’s a lot of pressure on CEOs to succeed. You’re responsible for the success or failure of your company, and that can be a lot of weight to carry. You need to be able to handle the pressure and stay calm under pressure.

It’s not always easy, but it’s essential for your company’s success.

6. Making Tough Decisions

A ceo with her employees.

As CEO, you’re going to have to make many tough decisions. Some of those decisions will be popular, but others will not. You need to have the courage to make the tough calls and stand by them, even if they’re unpopular.

It’s the only way to move your company forward.

7. Balancing the Needs of Employees and Shareholders

Shareholders having a meeting a secretary giving out folders with documents.

Part of being a CEO is keeping everyone happy. You need to find a way to balance the needs of employees and shareholders, and sometimes that’s not easy. Employees need to be treated fairly, but shareholders also need to be considered.

It’s a delicate balancing act, but it’s important to get it right.

8. Dealing with Rapid Change

A ceo and the team discussing a marketing strategy.

The world is changing faster than ever, and as a CEO, you need to be prepared for rapid change. You need to be able to adapt quickly and make changes quickly. If you can’t keep up with the changing world, your company will fall behind.

Just look at the COVID-19 pandemic. It created absolute chaos for businesses, and those that could adapt quickly survived.

9. Balancing the Needs of the Company With Your Own

A ceo discussing the needs of the company.

As CEO, you constantly try to find the right balance between what’s best for the company and what’s best for you. You need to make sure that your needs are being met, but you also can’t forget about the company’s goals. It’s a difficult balance to find, but it’s essential to strive for.

The CEO is the face of the company, and everyone expects them to be the best possible version of themselves. It’s a lot of pressure, but it’s also an incredible opportunity.

10. Putting in Long Hours

A ceo working all night.

Being CEO is a demanding job, and it often requires long hours. You need to be prepared to work hard and put in the time if you want to be successful. You can’t take shortcuts or expect to succeed without hard work.

The CEO is the one who sets the tone for the company, and if you’re not working hard, your employees won’t either. However, if you don’t learn to take breaks, you’re also setting a bad example. Once again, it goes back to balance.

So, what sucks about being the CEO of a large company? It’s a demanding job that requires a lot of time and effort if you want to succeed.