Most books about career advancement are either weighty examinations about success in the workplace (e.g., How to Be a Star at Work
and Working with Emotional Intelligence)
or flippant, humorous takes on surviving the countless inanities of modern work life (e.g., Working Wounded
). Jeffrey Fox's book, How to Become CEO: The Rules for Rising to the Top of Any Organization
is neither. Instead, Fox presents 75 commonsense rules about successfully conducting your career.
Rules like "Know Everybody by Their First Name" and "No Goals No Glory" may seem obvious; others, such as "Don't Take Work Home from the Office" or "Don't Have a Drink with the Gang" may not. Each is accompanied by page or two of succinct and thought-provoking explanation. For example, for rule 27, "Don't Hide an Elephant," Fox writes, "Big problems always surface. If they have been hidden, even unintentionally, the negative fallout is always worse. The 'hiders' always get burned, regardless of complicity. The 'discoverers' always are safe, regardless of complicity." Wise and to the point, How to Become CEO will help just about anybody's career, whether you want to become CEO or not. --Harry C. Edwards
Fox heads his own marketing consulting company, and he demonstrates here that he knows how to package an idea. While there is nothing especially original about a list of rules for getting ahead, Fox's guide is filled with 75 tips that are short, sweet, and to the point. Moreover, the ideas themselves are fresh. You have to admire the pluck of someone who counsels spending one day a month in the library and recommends sending handwritten notes. For each suggestion, Fox includes one or two pages of elaboration. Other advice: Always take vacations. Always take the job that offers the most money. Never write a nasty memo. Don't take work home from the office. Never let a good boss make a mistake. And, nary a mention of Machiavelli or Sun-Tzu. Refreshing! David Rouse