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There's No Elevator to the Top: A Leading Headhunter Shares the Advancement Strategies of the World's Most Successful Executives Hardcover – November 13, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As vice chairman of a global executive search firm, Ramakrishman uses his access to the top executives at major corporations to ask the one question aspiring CEOs, and even new entrants to the business world, would most like to know: What do you know now that you wish you had known 20 years ago? The result is a low-key, highly personal look back at success. The advice Ramakrishman elicits from the executives delves into such areas as the importance of choosing only 'A' players when seeking to assemble a strong team and striving for a flatter organizational structure to promote communication and information flow. The subject matter does not vary significantly from standard career topics like the importance of networking, but the real value here is access to the wisdom and guidance of proven leaders such as Steve Reinemund of Pepsi and Terrence Marks of Coca-Cola. Chapter-ending executive summaries underscore key points that will benefit anyone—regardless of their corporate ranking—looking to advance in their field. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Longtime search executive, Ramakrishnan, sets out to examine and dissect today’s popular management principles and insights by traveling the world to interview members of the C-suite, the corporate world’s chief officers. Stories abound as the author recounts thoughtful conversations with leaders of Fortune’s largest companies and CEO’s of start-ups, including wisdom and advice from executives of Charles Schwab, JC Penny, Aetna, Cadbury Schweppes, and MediaCorp Group of Singapore to name a few. Lessons learned from his interviews include: everyone’s the CEO’s boss; everyone thinks they own you; not everyone likes you; know what’s going on; your constant responsibility is to filter and synthesize the information flow for your benefit; corporate culture begins with you; prepare as much as possible, then expect the unexpected; leaders know how to rally the troops; always strive to be better; and in the end, there’s only you left to blame. There is so much richness in the ideas and experiences chronicled in this excellent book, which offers special insight for library patrons. --Mary Whaley

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover (November 13, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591842255
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591842255
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,181,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Umesh Ramakrishnan is Vice Chairman of CTPartners, a premier executive search firm committed to performance, quality and results. Drawing on a deep understanding of the human elements of leadership, Umesh integrates executive recruitment strategies with corporate goals, producing culturally compatible executives who can meet the clients' specific challenges and achieve long-term growth.

Umesh provides consultation to the boards of directors and chief executives of global corporations. He has recruited members for boards of directors, CEOs, CFOS, COOs, and other senior management positions. Clients regularly engage him to conduct international assignments, leveraging his experience in North and South America, Europe, and Asia.

Before joining CTPartners, Umesh was COO of R&R International and President of R&R Global, an off-shore engineering and applications development firm. Though responsible for employees on three continents, his accomplishments include pioneering a 24/7 off-shore engineering services capacity before off-shoring became fashionable.

Based in Cleveland, Umesh has assumed leadership roles within the firm. He led implementation of the SearchSigma search process, an industry first. A member of the executive committee of the firm and the board of directors of CTPartners, he is one of the leaders responsible for the firm's global expansion strategy and implementation.

Regularly quoted in major industry and national publications, a sought-after speaker, and a regular guest on CNBC's Closing Bell and Power Lunch, Umesh graduated from Bangalore University in India and holds a master's degree in industrial engineering from the University of Texas. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Children's Museum of Cleveland.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S. Voth on November 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have read many leadership books - in fact, I began to read this one with guarded expectations, awaiting the standard advice of "listen more than talk" and "be nice to those who work for you." Refreshingly, Ramakrishnan's book reads more like a novel than the typical leadership book, offering smart insights into the C-suite of some of the world's most successful leaders. The pages flow and you catch yourself 30, 50, then 70 pages into the book, taking note of the advice provided by these executives without finding yourself losing patience with the all-too-often tiresome words of wisdom you've received form your college guidance counselor onwards. A good long-flight book or one that you can easily appreciate on a business trip. One note - don't be surprised if you don't instantly recognize all the executives in this book. This is truly a global book and Ramakrishnan takes us to places most US-centric leaderships guides do not. Well worth the time.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was pleasantly surprised by the caliber of executives that contributed to this book. They are C-Level leaders of some of the most respected and well known companies in the world. I don't think this book was meant to re-invent the wheel. At the core of the book are basic fundamentals - things like hard work, dedication, preparation, and passion. But the book offers so much more. The stories that are told by the executives Ramakrishnan interviews are honest, refreshing, and overall captivating. Everyone defines success in their own way. If you aspire to truly have an impact on your organization, work your way up to the C-Suite, and ultimately be a leader, who better to get advice from than those that have a proven track record of doing it? The author impressed me with his overall knowledge of leadership, having placed executives in critical roles for many years. But he doesn't pretend to know the answers. Rather, he has brought a multitude of ideas together in an easy to read format. I would recommend reading the book with a highlighter, as there are a number of quotes worth reviewing on a regular basis. And just when you feel like you may be getting overwhelmed with information, each chapter closes with a nifty "executive summary" that outlines the key points. I enjoyed this book, and I would recommend it to any business professional.
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Format: Hardcover
There's No Elevator To The Top, might sound like a cliché but it was actually a compelling read. Unlike many other leadership books, and I have read many, this book offers refreshing and honest tips from CEO's all over the world. Ramakrishnan interviews CEO's from various industries and regions and seems to have a sound global perspective himself. The book showcases the global leaders as "real" people who have more in common with the average employee than one realizes. It outlines tips and experiences learned which have stuck with them throughout their careers. You can tell that Ramakrishnan was able to spend valuable one-on-one time with each CEO and it shows in their responses. It seems as if each person truly wanted to share secrets of their success. The book flows and is a great read during long flights. Well worth the time.
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Format: Hardcover
After reading a recent article by Jim Pawlak (included below), I had to share my view on what I believe truly is a `gift that keeps on giving'. "There's No Elevator to the Top" by Umesh Ramakrishnan, is a book that should not only be in every college graduate's hands upon graduation but anyone who is looking to advance their career in whatever industry they are working. This book not only shares the lessons of leadership by some of the most well renowned executives in the world but gives you the insight on `if' you have the desire to go to the top, what it is going to take to get there. If you are looking for a Christmas gift, birthday present or even a possible graduation gift, "There's No Elevator to the Top" is a present that will keep on giving long after holidays and celebrations are over!

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