The CEO Next Door is based on over 10 years of research into 18,000 professional reports of pre-selected candidates, high-level jobs mostly in billion-dollar companies. The book focuses on CEOs with research separating candidates who turned out to be good leaders as CEOs and those who turned out to be outstanding performers. It does bring to every reader the secrets of the most successful people in business to help you learn from the best so that you can tailor your approach to individual situations no matter how you define it.
Naturally, we absorb from observing and imitating those around us, those who have mastered the skills we desire. We look at people who have made it and try to figure out and replicate the secrets of their success. Nevertheless, we see, on the surface, just a fraction of the full picture of each professional journey. They are so unique that it’s hard to know what can be generalised and what’s unique to that individual. On the other hand, it might be just pure luck.
So what are the repeatable lessons from the most successful people that we can learn from?
There are things that, while not easy, can be flexed and built over time. And, as the book underlines, there are 4 qualities that are crucial in order to become an outstanding leader and a CEO. The first is decisiveness – moving with speed and conviction. The next one is reliable delivery, so putting things in place, being trustworthy and of performing consistently well. Adaptability, which means being future-oriented and proactively adapting your company to needs that are fluctuating in the market. The last one is engaging for impact, so how you should address the varying requirements of your stakeholder groups and move them in an aligned style towards a goal.
The greatest thing in the book was how the authors noticed plenty of ways, guidelines and tactics that CEOs, covered in research, who have successfully built those qualities over time. The conclusion is that any leader or a manager, at any possible stage, could advantage from practising these behaviours if they want to experience the growth in their careers.
Last but not least, the book destroys a bunch of common myths and stereotypes on how to become a CEO. It also includes a plethora of commentaries based on real people who obviously give their names. Based on that you can see not just sort of kind of platitudes or recommendations, but real-life examples in order to relate to them during your way.
The CEO Next Door: The 4 Behaviors that Transform Ordinary People into World-Class Leaders
by Elena L. Botelho, Kim R. Powell and Tahl Raz
In the article I made use of a few authors’ interviews.
Size: 288 pages