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How to Become CEO: The Rules for Rising to the Top of Any Organization Hardcover – September 30, 1998
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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
Top customer reviews
A lot of the rules, or tips really, that Fox presents are the sort of thing my Dad (who worked in a large corporation) kept telling me as a young man. He really enjoyed reading the book, since it was a sort of 3rd party validation. On the other hand, for someone without that background who graduates school and finds themselves working for a large company, this would be VERY useful.
Some of the tips in the book focus on the theme of maintaining distance, because of the notion that CEOs are expected to *be* distant. The CEOs of small companies that I have worked with are definitely *not* like that. Small companies often have a culture more like a family or fraternity, and when someone remains distant, that's a negative, not a positive. One tip, for instance, is not to go running with "the noontime crowd," and instead run before work. If people know that you run, but you for some reason won't run with them... this doesn't gain you the respect of your peers... it instead convinces them you're a jerk. Better not to run at all!
For example, in one chapter you are given a reading list of books to buy. Recommending we read the bible, C.S. Lewis and anything by authors.... REALLY! REALLY! We have purchased this rambling nonsense so that he in return can tell us to read other books, two beginning the most widely read books on the planet... Lazy.
However now that I've left the book lying around my house my opinion has changed. The ability to pick up the book and get good advice in a page or two is excellent.
The advice is sound and very specific. For example, Fox suggests a specific way of handling a character assasin that turns the assasin's words back onto himself or herself.
I often think of these specific pieces of advice when I'm deciding what to do next in my day or on a road trip.
Overall, an excellent guide!