Summary of The Corner Office

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  • Analytical
  • Applicable
  • Concrete Examples


Adam Bryant, the deputy national editor of The New York Times, interviewed 70 CEOs and other leading executives of some of the world’s most famous companies to garner back-to-basics leadership and management advice. Bryant presents the valuable lessons they’ve have learned about what works and what doesn’t work in the corporate world. He covers the criteria for business success as described by these superstars in their own words. Considering the level of the corporate luminaries in this collection, getAbstract might have expected the insights to be more brilliant and memorable, but Bryant nevertheless gleaned plenty of solid, collective knowledge from his bank of accomplished managers. getAbstract recommends Bryant’s cogent analysis of his interviews, which helps demystify executive management and shows how the best CEOs succeed.

About the Author

Pulitzer Prize winner Adam Bryant, deputy national editor of The New York Times, writes a Sunday business section feature, “Corner Office.”



CEOs: Leadership Paladins

CEOs know leadership well because they live and practice it constantly. Most CEOs reached their positions after being senior executives for 10 years or more. Along the way, they learned how to be the ultimate managers. As chief executives, they must perform the same managerial tasks as the supervisors they lead: interview job applicants, run meetings, inspire teamwork, organize their time and provide needed feedback. CEOs must do everything exceptionally well and determine what works and what doesn’t. To lead like an effective CEO, develop five special qualities:

  1. “Passionate curiosity” – CEOs are avid students of the world and curious about everything. They never stop questioning. Many describe themselves as “students of human nature.” As Disney CEO Robert Iger says, “I love curiosity, particularly in our business – being curious about the world, but also being curious about your business, new business models [and] new technology.” Nell Minow, co-founder of The Corporate Library, describes passionate curiosity as “indispensable, no matter what the job is.”
  2. “Battle-hardened confidence...

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