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Hardcover How to Become CEO: The Rules for Rising to the Top of Any Organization Book

ISBN: 0786864370

ISBN13: 9780786864379

How to Become CEO: The Rules for Rising to the Top of Any Organization

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Book Overview

In How to Become CEO, consultant Jeffrey Fox has written an insightful handbook of traits to develop for all generations of CEO aspirants - or for anyone who wants to get ahead in today's business world. Open it to any page and find a short, provocative piece of brutally honest advice written in a conversational tone. Each of the seventy-five "rules" focuses on a specific action that should be taken, a trait that needs to be developed, or a prohibition...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A Good Gift for Someone Just Starting Out

This little book presents seventy-five lessons, or rules, for career success. The vast majority of the rules consists of short musings on people skills. Like most books giving advice on business and career success, the concepts are easily understood, but as always, are difficult to implement. Nonetheless, this guide to becoming the CEO offers a few precious nuggets of wisdom that anyone could use whether or not they have designs on becoming the Big Cheese or sitting in the top spot of any organization.Several of the rules have relevance far beyond the boardroom. For example, Lesson 27- Don't Hide an Elephant- which deals with the impulse to ignore a festering and looming problem, sounds a lot like what the United States Congress (and more than a few presidential administrations) does on a routine basis. Other rules, such as Lesson 7- Never Write a Nasty Memo- can have painful personal relevance. I have committed the sin of violating this rule, with disastrous consequences. Please, whatever you do, don't break this rule.From a business standpoint, I believe that lessons two, three and four, which deal with customers, are the most relevant. These three rules should remind you that if you have no customers, then you have no business being in business.From a personal career advancement standpoint, the best lessons are Rules 40, 43, and 45, which remind us to listen, do our homework well if we want to be paid well, and most important, to communicate clearly and effectively by speaking and writing in plain English.Managers and executives of all stripes should memorize Lessons 55 and 63 by heart, and live them every day at work. It really does pay to be on the constant lookout for good ideas, but one should never forget that once a good idea is discovered, realizing its potential is critical to success.On a personal level, I believe everyone can get a lot of mileage out of Lessons 62 and 64. Lesson 62- Become A Member of the Shouldn't Have Club- contains a lot of truth. Though you may lament doing some things, they are often necessary to do in order to achieve a higher purpose. I can attest to the truth of the author's words from personal experience, `Each time you admonish yourself with "Gee, I shouldn't have done that', there will be ten other times when the results will prove that you should have.' However, Lesson 64- Record Your Mistakes with Care and Pride- is probably the most difficult lesson for all. Many advise us not to live in the past and not to obsess over failures and mistakes. However, we can learn more from our mis-steps than from our successes, and we can use failure to grow and become better people. Granted, this hard to imagine when one is failing or has failed, but in retrospect, it can be a powerful learning tool if used.As an aside, Lesson 51- Stay Out of Office Politics- is an insightful and brilliant analysis of too many workplaces. Setting rife with politicking signal for all to see that no matter how beneficial

Great little book that serves as a great reminder

As you probably know that this book is filled with tips/suggestions to make it to the top. Here are some of his tips:* Get and keep customers for your company* Make one good ally in your company every month* Avoid staff jobs, seek line jobs* Find companies inner circle, why are that inner circle, determine necessary credentials and get in there* Work on projects that are visible or pet projects of sernior people. Ask people what are big problems are. Think it through, work on solutions, test them. Write up your proposals, and get proper distribution of your ideas.|-POSITIVE-|1. Easy to read and straight to the point2. As I read, I saw where I was making mistakes in my past jobs and I saw his advice in others success.3. A lot of it is common sense but that common sense lots of time is forget, great reminder, it is short so its easy to flip through the book for a nice reminder.4. He offers tips not only what to do inside the business, but also what do with in your personal life, because that's where it starts. He even offers other books to read. 5. it contains that kind of information that I for sure will reread from time to time.|-NEGATIVE-|I can't think of negative, except maybe that a lot of it is common sense but even common sense is needed to make it to the top.

How to live your corporate life...

Ignore the "How to Become CEO" portion of the title. Focus just on the byline: "The Rules for Rising to the Top of Any Organization". That is truly what this book is about. Fox has organized this book into 75 nuggets of no-nonsense advice for living your corporate life. Each chapter is an average of 3 pages, and is devoted to backing up one nugget of advice.I don't believe anything he says is earth shattering, nor do I believe it possible to implement all of his ideas. However, the way each idea was backed up with simple reasoning and examples made it easy to understand the motivation behind it. It also made it easy to determine whether it was applicable to my situation and in many cases, gave examples of how to handle particular situations.I can speak from my own experience that just implementing two pieces of his advice has positively changed the way that I approach my work environment and the way coworkers and management perceive me. This was well worth the money I spent on this book. There is no doubt in my mind that anyone who is serious in advancing into the ranks of upper management will find a minimum of 3-5 nuggets that help shape their attitudes and habits to attain that goal within this book!

Subtle "Street Smarts"

Debra Benton has written two excellent books entitled How to Think Like a CEO. and How to Act Like a CEO. The title of Fox's is somewhat misleading. Very few executives ever become a CEO. In fact, that's not what his book is really all about. Like Benton, he focuses on "the rules for rising to the top of any organization." As Noel Tichy correctly asserts in The Leadership Engine, all organizations (regardless of size or nature) should constantly develop leadership at all levels. His book, Benton's two, and this book can all help executives to develop such leadership; also, to develop leadership skills in those for whom they are responsible. Hemingway once suggested that all great writers "have a built-in, shock-proof crap detector." I was reminded of that as I read Fox's book. His is a no-nonsense, cut-to-the-chase, no-BS approach to executive development. Perhaps a few of his readers will become CEOs. Good for them. Most of his readers will not but, thanks to Fox, they will be much better-prepared to support their CEO while helping their associates to increase their own effectiveness in decision-making situations.Fox organizes his material within 75 brief chapters which range from "Always Take the Job That Offers More Money" to "Do Not Get Discouraged by the Idea Killers." In Chapter LXVIII ("No Goals, No Glory"), for example, he asserts that "You must create a yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily `To Do' list. On your `To Do' list, write the things you have to do to reach your goals. On your daily `To Do' list, put some action that will get you closer to your long-range goals. This will keep you targeted." Nothing original here. However, in this instance and throughout the entire book, Fox focuses on what is practical rather than theoretical. I presume to add my own strong support of what I call the "The 3Ws Strategy": When meeting with associates to prioritize and then plan initiatives, insist on pinning down "Who will do what by when."In the Epilogue, Fox observes: "Thank you for reading this book. Now, reopen your book to one or two random pages. Put your finger on a section and do what is written. You will be further on your way to becoming CEO." No cutting-edge thinking here but note, again, the emphasis on taking action. Years ago, I became convinced that below the CEO and COO levels, leadership is best defined in terms of initiative. I once helped to plan and implement an "electronic suggestion box" program for a major corporation. The best suggestion came from a man working in the mailroom who was about to retire: "Except for emergencies, why not limit next business day deliveries to emergencies only?" That suggestion saved the corporation approximately $200,000 a year. In this instance, the fellow in the mailroom thought like a CEO and recommended a specific initiative.Fox has written a book which can be of immense value to those who aspire to occupy the CEO position but will be of even greater value to all the others whose career aspira

Points worth keeping in mind...

Fox provides refreshing advice that everyone should keep in mind. Althought the points aren't really specific to being a CEO, they're tidbits of good advice on the most important adventure of all, Life. A book that's not only worth the money, but definitely worth the time.
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