NEW YORK TIMES AND WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER • Winner of CMI Management Book of the Year 2019
Based on an in-depth analysis of over 2,600 leaders drawn from a database of more than 17,000 CEOs and C-suite executives, as well 13,000 hours of interviews, and two decades of experience advising CEOs and executive boards, Elena L. Botelho and Kim R. Powell overturn the myths about what it takes to get to the top and succeed.
Their groundbreaking research was the featured cover story in the May-June 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review. It reveals the common attributes and counterintuitive choices that set apart successful CEOs—lessons that we can apply to our own careers.
Much of what we hear about who gets to the top, and how, is wrong. Those who become chief executives set their sights on the C-suite at an early age. In fact, over 70 percent of the CEOs didn’t have designs on the corner office until later in their careers. You must graduate from an elite college. In fact, only 7 percent of CEOs in the dataset are Ivy League graduates--and 8 percent didn't graduate from college at all. To become a CEO you need a flawless résumé. The reality: 45 percent of CEO candidates had at least one major career blowup.
What those who reach the top do share are four key behaviors that anyone can master: they are decisive; they are reliable, delivering what they promised when the promise it, without exception; they adapt boldly, and they engage with stakeholders without shying away from conflict.
Based on this breakthrough study of the most successful people in business, Botelho and Powell offer career advice for everyone who aspires to get ahead. Based on research insights illustrated by real life stories from CEOs and boardrooms, they tell us how to:
- Fast-track our career by deploying the career catapults used by those who get to the top quickly
- Overcome the hidden handicaps to getting the job we want.
- Avoid the 5 hazards that most commonly derail those promoted into a new role.
For everyone who aspires to rise up through the organization and achieve their full potential, The CEO Next Door is an essential guide.
"You, too, are a CEO. At least, you could be," declare leadership advisers Botelho and Powell in this encouraging guide to developing the skills of a successful CEO, no matter one's background. Their book argues that though the word CEO tends to be associated with famous leaders such as Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, in reality regular people can attain the same abilities and mind-set. Having coached over 300 CEOs, the authors recall being inspired by the "unlikely" ones unprepossessing, laconic, perhaps without much formal education or experience, like Don Slager, president and CEO at Republic Services. Botelho and Powell had to ask themselves if these people just got lucky or if everyone else is wrong about the characteristics that make a great CEO. Working from a data set of 17,000 leadership assessments to build the "CEO Genome Project," they identify four qualities as key: confident decision-making, getting others on board with one's plans, a reputation for reliability, and adaptability. Giving over plenty of space to reflections, questions, and worksheets, the authors guide readers through developing these characteristics and applying them to different organizations. Botelho and Powell have created a thought-provoking look at successful leadership without the typical bluster.
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The best book on leadership
When it comes to leadership advise, I recommend this book as it covers not only the basic tenets of the how for new leaders but professional tried and tested ideas.
The ending is quite something. It is for the greater good.