C-level executives in the McKinsey study on the successful transition to the C-suite acknowledge they did not have all the answers when they began their new positions. Most executives in the study said they relied on the input of their direct reports when determining solutions to the strategic problems they faced at the beginning of their tenures. When identifying which activities were most important to the successful transition into the C-suite, 86% of respondents cited the mobilization of their direct reports to function as a high performing team. This was second only to creating a new vision.

Seventy-four percent said at least half of their initial direct reports were still on their teams by the end of their transitions. The most successful respondents made even fewer changes to their original teams. Respondents indicated that “it’s important to move fast to get the right people on their teams. A majority said their final teams were in place within the first year, but they still wish they had moved more quickly.”