Yale Management School dean and BusinessWeek
columnist Jeffrey Garten has written a provocative if perhaps mistitled book. Billed as a "journey into the innermost thoughts of corporate titans," The Mind of the CEO
is really about Garten's own thoughts. He makes no pretense at being objective, admitting: "I want to talk about the awesome challenges CEOs face as seen through what they said to me and as filtered through my own experiences and my own thoughts."
Garten uses his interviews with 40 household names--including Intel's Andy Grove, GE's Jack Welch, PepsiCo's Roger Enrico, and AOL's Steve Case--to articulate his own questions and strategies for CEOs to thrive during the "third Industrial Revolution." He interprets these interviews through the lens of his tenures on Wall Street, at Yale, and as President Clinton's Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade. Among the challenges he analyzes: what CEOs are doing (or must do) to win the Internet wars and meet the challenges of going global, why CEOs must emphasize the "true north" of consistent values, and how a shareholder is different from a stakeholder. With great clarity, he details the demise of several CEOs who resigned under pressure, including Aetna's Richard Huber and Xerox's Richard Thoman, and suggests that "a vision without execution is a hallucination."
Yet Garten's core concern--and one where he is most passionate--is how to expand the leadership role of CEOs on the world stage. He urges leaders to curb their ethnocentrism and to take more responsibility for creating a world environment in which everyone can prosper. By framing this issue of leaders as world citizens, Garten raises smart and searching questions for a wired world economy. --Barbara Mackoff
From Publishers Weekly
The Dean of the Yale School of Management as well as a Business Week columnist and a former Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade, Garten interviewed some of today's foremost business leaders, including Jack Welch, Andrew Grove, Stephen Case and Rupert Murdoch. These CEOs offer insights into the demands of the new economy, in which companies must focus on global competition, social responsibility and attracting and retaining talent. Organized by theme ("The Next Internet Wars," "Being Global," etc.), the book provides an excellent, pertinent summary of significant business issues by people in the know. Given Garten's strong reputation and his recent interviews with principals in GE's acquisition of Honeywell, this book should easily find a wide readership.
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