Summary of CEO Priorities

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With more than three decades of experience as a CEO, Neil Giarratana knows how to run a company. His book includes real-life examples of common problems that confront CEOs and offers useful – if fairly elementary – advice on how to deal with those issues. Be sure to consider Giarratana’s suggestions in the context of your company – it’s possible that some of his ideas could land an inexperienced chief executive in hot water. Despite this caveat, Giarratana’s book offers notable value, particularly for neophyte executives. If you are a new CEO or a CEO-in-waiting, getAbstract recommends this briefing. Do heed one telling piece of advice: No one is going to watch your back or tend to your career as devotedly as you, so keep your eyes open.

About the Author

Neil Giarratana served as the CEO of European subsidiaries of American firms and also as CEO of German companies operating in Europe and elsewhere.



Short-Term Work

In the United States, most CEOs last fewer than five years in their jobs due to economic uncertainties and constant change in the world of business. To survive, you must handle many challenges that will routinely develop to thwart you and hurt your firm. You also must construct a strong foundation for your business and for its strategy. This includes a mission statement that presents your vision and promotes your company’s core values and business philosophy.

Chief executives of long tenure develop “business smarts,” the commercial world’s equivalent of street smarts. As a CEO, you need the expertise to create effective strategies that advance your company in the marketplace. Along the way, you also must learn how to deal with numerous issues that can eat away at your power, prestige and efficacy. And you must be able to protect yourself from the land mines that seem to be buried everywhere CEOs must tread.

Early Days

A CEO lives under a spotlight, especially during the first few days and weeks on the job. As a new CEO, you should realize that people will make serious judgments and strong assumptions about what kind of person you are during...

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