After a number of years as CAO of a small southeastern college, I was asked to participate in the Council of Independent Colleges’ workshop for new CAOs. The organizers asked if I would lead group discussions on the theme of “Surviving and Thriving as a New CAO.” I agreed, though I warned the organizers that while I could speak as one who had survived (so far), thriving is always an aspiration. In some ways, thriving as CAO is a bit like someone who takes the stage and announces that she’s a comedian, only to be told by an audience member, “We’ll be the judge of that.”