2023 CEO Pain Points: The Toughest Challenges Facing CEOs Right Now

2021 CEO Pain Points: The Toughest Challenges Facing CEOs Right Now

CEO Pain Points: Ever wonder what’s keeping CEOs awake at night as they lead their businesses to recovery? Or how to help them? We’ve got answers.

Leading an organization can be a challenge even in the best of times. But when it’s 2023—in the aftermath of a global pandemic that ended 10 years of economic expansion—being a top executive could be one of the toughest jobs around.

Based on insights from Vistage International, a peer-to-peer CEO organization that recently published a timely report, we found out exactly what’s on CEOs’ minds—and what troubles them the most.

Fortunately, today’s CEOs don’t need to navigate solutions alone. By bringing in an independent executive or business advisor, CEOs can lean on insights from other proven leaders to help them make the best recovery decisions. Here’s how.

4 CEO Pain Points


According to the Vistage report, 80% of businesses witnessed a reduction in revenue during the pandemic. This was a direct result of customers shutting down or postponing non-essential purchases. Now these businesses are trying to jump-start the growth engine by creating new demand, rebuilding opportunity pipelines and re-engaging with customers. An independent executive (CEO, COO or Sales/Marketing Leader) can help by providing guidance on new growth strategies and adapting to new customer behaviors.


Beneath the surface of every business decision is uncertainty—coming from all sides. They’re unsure of the length of the pandemic, the direction of the economy, and the unknown impact to their markets. Forecasting has become harder, and pre-COVID financial models are no longer relevant. Leaders are relying on their instincts and judgment to adapt quickly and make the best decisions. Having an independent executive or business advisor on hand can help CEOs discuss ideas, be a sounding board and strategize a successful roadmap.


The past year has been stressful for everyone—associates and leaders alike. Today’s CEOs are challenged to motivate a highly dispersed workforce with diverse needs. They need to keep employees motivated, productive, and engaged, while avoiding burnout and inspiring the organization for what could be a tough recovery ahead. An independent CHRO could provide helpful strategies to achieve these goals.

Working from Home

The pandemic has changed the workplace forever. Today’s CEOs must rethink the workplace with physical health and safety a top priority. And for those companies adopting remote work as a permanent option, CEOs need to adapt their culture and communications to thrive in the new reality. An independent CHRO or COO could help businesses plan and adapt.

Where can you find vetted independent leaders?

At Cerius Executives, we’ve spent 15+ years developing and maintaining one of the country’s largest networks of qualified independent executives. They’re here to serve you—and help move your company forward. Contact us today to learn more.

Learn how we can help your business grow profitably today.