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What the Best CEOs Know: 7 Exceptional Leaders and Their Lessons for Transforming Any Business Paperback – September 19, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (September 19, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 007146252X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071462525
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,624,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In his opening remarks, Krames identifies the "celebrity CEO." This person is the company leader who's "idealized, even idolized," whose image graces magazine and book covers, and who is often asked to weigh in on the issues of the day. Celebrity CEOs ran wild in the 1990s and early 2000s. Alas, says Krames, v-p and publisher of McGraw-Hill's business books division, the celebrity CEO's era has ended. But some champion CEOs of that time do have wisdom to impart, and in this thorough and thoughtful examination of successful leadership strategies, Krames dissects the ideas of some of the biggest names that have graced business headlines in the past 10 or so years. The list is impressive: Michael Dell (Dell Computer), Jack Welch (GE), Lou Gerstner (IBM), Andy Grove (Intel), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Herb Kelleher (Southwest Airlines) and Sam Walton (Wal-Mart). Although only one of the subjects still holds the CEO title, all seven have implemented world-famous success methods. Krames pinpoints their defining traits (e.g., they are evangelical, but not necessarily charismatic) and strategies (e.g., prepare for change; foster learning), using specific examples and quotes. Sidebars (entitled "What Would Andy Grove Do?"; "What Would Jack Welch Do?" etc.) break up the text. This is a smart, timely book that deserves reading for the lessons it teaches and for the business history it inadvertently imparts.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Do seven of the most admired, most studied, and most quoted CEOs in the twenty-first century have no new knowledge to impart about their successes? Krames has created a new spin for the lessons from names such as Michel Dell and Jack Welch (plus five others) by fashioning a case-history-like approach. He sets the stage by isolating the six traits critical to great CEO success, from instilling a company-wide outside-in perspective to understanding the role of culture and how difficult it is to bring about meaningful cultural change. Then each of the seven CEOs is "assigned" a specific lesson. For example, Southwest's success in creating a performance-driven culture is introduced by a fictional business problem, headlined "What Would Herb Kelleher do?" and followed by a history of the airlines, the problem's answer, additional questions, and a synopsis of points to remember. Post-Enron, any corporate captain of industry can be tarnished; on the other hand, these lessons could remain valuable for years to come. Barbara Jacobs
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Easy words Very crisp and to the point.
Naresh Dusi
Of course, he could have selected a different seven...or perhaps add several others to those he did.
Robert Morris
An excellent encapsulation of real life situations and how to approach them.
Teresa Lombardi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Krames has an excellent concept for this book: select several exceptional corporate leaders, examine each in terms of a specific objective to which both he and his organization are fully committed, and then explain what can be learned from HOW that objective is conceived. Of course, he could have selected a different seven...or perhaps add several others to those he did. Few can question the inclusion of Dell, Welch, Gerstner, Grove, Gates, Kelleher, and Walton. After explaining "What Made Them Great" in Part 1, Krames devotes a chapter to each in Part 2 as he explains those defining strategies which have made each exceptional. I commend Krames for including exercises which actively engage the reader's mind. For example, a brief scenario "that puts the reader in the seat of the [given] CEO." Krames offers a series of business situations which enable his readers "to test their business acumen against that of each of the seven subject CEOs." Each chapter is filled with various lessons as well as "Assess Your CEO Quotient" questions which can be asked both of the individual and of her or his own organization. Throughout his narrative, Krames also inserts brief comments from the works of business thinkers such as Peter Drucker and Philip Kotler so as to provide different perspectives on the given business issue.Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
If you have already read books by or about Michael Dell, Bill Gates, Lou Gerstner, Andy Grove, Herb Kelleher, Jack Welch and Sam Walton, you will probably think this is a two star book. If you are unfamiliar with any of these gentleman and their companies, you will find this book to be a helpful introduction that can direct you to more detailed reading on subjects that interest you.
What's new about this book is that Mr. Krames positions thought experiments in the sections about each CEO so you can address a business problem . . . and compare your answers to those the CEOs might have supplied. These are a cinch if you have read about the people involved, and are otherwise quite challenging. There are also helpful questions to test your organization's current applications of the concept at the end of each CEO's chapter.
What's not new about the book is any information that hasn't been written before about what the CEOs did in their own companies. I cannot remember seeing anything that I hadn't seen already. As a result, the book serves as a condensation of past learning. That's helpful for those who read little and have limited time. I didn't detect too many problems with the material. The consistent pattern of misfocus was concentrated in not in explaining enough about the context for the ideas. All of Jack Welch's big theme ideas were borrowed (as Mr. Krames points out for Sam Walton), and Mr. Welch was often quite late in picking up on and applying those ideas. Many of the initiatives in expanding service at IBM were well underway before Lou Gerstner arrived. I graded the book down one star for these slight misfocuses.
If you have the time, there's a better book either by or about each person than this one. Feel free to go to the better source!
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Teresa Lombardi on May 2, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent encapsulation of real life situations and how to approach them. It affirms the good things a CEO might be doing now and offers great tips for how to possibly add a bit more cutting edge. Easy to read, easy to apply, entertaining, applicable. A real delight to read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Easy words
Very crisp and to the point.
It does deliver what title says.
And also also an eye opener for many org who just follow some of these recommendation for sake of doing.There has to be effectiveness is such implementation and it does explain very well.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a business major working on my Doctorate and this book has reviews from the Best CEO's in business. Great book, good advice and very informative.
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