Corner Office: 5 Qualities to Identify CEO Material

by takingpitches

The Corner Office Series in the New York Times is a treasure.  There is always a lesson or three that one can pick out from each of the interviews.  So it’s even better that Adam Bryant is coming out with a book for which he has an article in Sunday’s Times, summarizing the “five essentials for success” that he has distilled from those he has interviewed as part of the series. They are:  

  • Passionate curiosity (“You want somebody who is just alert and very awake and engaged with the world and wanting to know more”;  “Why do you do that? How come it’s done this way? Is there a better way?”)
  • Battle-hardened confidence. (“Some people embrace adversity, even relish it, and they have a track record of overcoming it.”; “locus of control”;“Got it. I’m on it.”; “this is my job, and I’m going to own it”)
  • Team smarts. (“Team smarts refers to the ability to recognize the players the team needs and how to bring them together around a common goal.”; “The people who truly succeed in business are the ones who actually have figured out how to mobilize people who are not their direct reports.”)
  • A simple mind-set. (“Some people can do a quick bit of mental jujitsu, and they’ll summarize an idea with a “Here’s what’s important …” or “The bottom line is … .””; “Now, in the Internet era, most people have easy access to the same information. That puts a greater premium on the ability to synthesize, to connect dots in new ways and to ask simple, smart questions that lead to untapped opportunities.”)
  • Fearlessness. (“Are you willing to make surprising career moves to learn new skills? Is discomfort your comfort zone?”; ““One of the things that I characterize as fearlessness is seeing an opportunity, even though things are not broken. Someone will say: “Things are good, but I’m going to destabilize them because they can be much better and should be much better.”; “Chief executives advise that you will be rewarded for fearlessness, because so few people live that way and bring this attitude to work.”)

Looking forward to getting my hands on the book!

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