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Summary: 'The Secrets of CEOs'

Richard Tedlow
Title: The Secrets of CEOs Authors: Steve Tappin and Andrew Cave Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2008 ISBN-13: 978-1857885132 256 pages

Review: The Secrets of CEOs
By Rolf Dobelli, Chairman, getAbstract

Famous chief executive officers (CEOs) have an aura of invincibility. But scandals and failures have engulfed many infamous CEOs who ultimately lost their powerful jobs. And avoiding risk is no guarantee of top-job security. Many companies want their CEOs to serve as agents of change, not caretakers.

How do successful CEOs stay on top? The answer depends on their style of leadership. Today, most chief executives are superb managers or bold entrepreneurs. Others are visionaries or astute diplomats. To find out what motivates CEOs and how they think about leadership, Steve Tappin and Andrew Cave conducted comprehensive interviews with 150 chief executives and compiled their findings in this book. getAbstract recommends their work to anyone who wants to know how CEOs think and act.

Book Summary

So You Want to Be a CEO?

Being a chief executive officer (CEO) is more demanding than ever. As a CEO, you have little time for your family. Your organization and its stakeholders frequently put many demands upon you. Achieving a proper professional and personal balance may be impossible. Unless you can handle stress, you are headed for big trouble. The pressures CEOs face could break those people who lack remarkable personal strength and character.

A successful CEO is wise, determined, resilient and visionary, a capable leader who is passionate about his or her organization. The job of CEO also can be very rewarding because it allows the CEO to shake things up and truly make a difference. Few other positions offer this much opportunity for success - and this big a risk of failure.

What advice can prominent CEOs offer young professionals who hope to reach the same dizzy heights? Stay healthy, for starters. Being a CEO is a notable health risk. Individuals who are unable to cope with the demands of the job are unlikely to remain CEOs for long.

Going Global

As a CEO, you need to develop a plan for the rapid globalization of your business. CEOs who ignore this trend do so at their organizations' absolute peril. Why? By 2025, India and China will represent a stunning 49% of the world's economic output. What does this mean for companies today? Simply this: You should get on the global business train quickly before it leaves the station. The time for "flag-planting" in disparate markets across the globe is past. Globalization means neither opening far-flung subsidiaries around the world nor selling undifferentiated products in multiple foreign markets. Operate in this ill-informed fashion and savvy international competitors will beat up your company.

Prepare for worldwide competition by adopting a true "global mindset." Change your product line to suit unique markets. What sells well in Des Moines may not work in Johannesburg or Reykjavík. To attain global marketing goals, cede substantial operational authority to local offices around the world. At the same time, maintain a system of sharing best practices among staff members in all your offices. These are just some of the requirements of a bona fide "global business model." Your management team must fully reflect this mindset in its orientation and make-up.

The Environment and the Internet

Promoting a sustainable environment is a primary global issue confronting business leaders and other citizens of the world. Indeed, the issue of preserving an inhabitable planet no longer is a matter of dispute within most of the business world. Concerned consumers and shareholders will not let companies continue to take neutral stands on this vital threat...

Please click here to receive a free summary of this book courtesy of getAbstract, the world's largest online library of business book summaries. (Available through March 7, 2010.)

By Andrea Useem

 |  March 1, 2010; 9:42 AM ET |  Category:  Books Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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