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How to Think Like a CEO

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How to Think Like a CEO

The 22 Vital Traits You Need to Be the Person at the Top

Warner Books,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

CEO behavior can be learned, so the job can be earned. Here's how to walk, talk, think, and act like you're already the boss.

Editorial Rating



  • Well Structured
  • Concrete Examples
  • Engaging


Author Debra A. Benton discusses how chief executive officers succeed. She bases her information on interviews with hundreds of major corporations’ CEOs and with well-known leaders and public figures. The experiences of so many CEOs make the book fascinating. Readers will be intrigued by the many success stories. Benton also extrapolates and explains the key principles behind the success of these executives. The book is an excellent, well-written guide that includes some well-known success principles and some that may be less well-known. The short, snappy, easy-to-read style is accessible. A helpful summary at the end of each chapter captures the major principles covered. getAbstract recommends this book to those on the way up in management, those interested in getting into management, and those who wish to apply these principles of success in their own careers.


The Basic Equipment Needed to Become a CEO

You might compare climbing the corporate ladder to climbing a mountain. You need certain qualities, which are like equipment, to make it to the top. You also have to be ready to pass through "tricky and scary situations," just as you would if you were going higher and higher up a mountain. To begin, you first need to establish a "firm footing." You also have to "learn the ropes," so you can move upwards, overcoming difficulties as you go, and take the lead.

To increase your chances of rising to the top, try to understand the CEO who employs you. You will learn more if you work for a top CEO. A better CEO is more likely to run a successful organization. Your CEO won’t be perfect, since no one is. But you want to work for a "near-perfect chief." A near-perfect CEO has 22 vital traits. Make these traits your own. Observe them in others. Continually work to improve these qualities in yourself, so that you get better and better.

Eight Fundamental Qualities

The eight fundamental qualities that near-perfect CEOs have are:

  1. They are secure in themselves - Near-perfect chiefs have to be secure, to ...

About the Author

Debra A. Benton , the head of Benton Management Resources, provides advice and expertise in professional development to CEOs and their managers. She previously wrote Lions Don’t Need to Roar: Using the Leadership Power of Professional Presence to Stand Out, Fit In and Move Ahead, a book about how effective people think about themselves, others, and life.

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