Summary of How to Become a C.E.O.?

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For aspiring senior executives, the path up the corporate ladder isn’t as linear as it once was. Recent research shows that would-be top directors who camp out in just one functional area reduce their competitive edge, while those who branch into multiple specialties increase their odds of reaching the top. Journalist Neil Irwin explores the findings from new research into the ways senior executives earn their positions. getAbstract recommends this article to any worker aspiring to reach the upper rungs, especially those with his or her eye on the CEO’s seat.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why experience in multiple functional areas improves your odds of reaching a top leadership position and
  • What strategies can help you acquire expertise in multiple specialties.

About the Author

Neil Irwin is a senior economics correspondent at The New York Times and author of the best-selling The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire.



Today, ambitious workers can no longer count on a tried and true path to securing senior executive positions. Routes to an office on the top floor vary, and the odds of getting there have always depended on a range of well-known factors – including education, longevity and gender. But recent research points to the growing importance of a less obvious feature of top executives’ career paths: having expertise in multiple functional areas.

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