Summary of The Naked CEO

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  • Controversial
  • Applicable
  • Eye Opening


Business leader Alex Malley, the CEO of CPA Australia, offers basic training for young people at the start of their careers. Malley shares worthy advice on networking, writing a résumé, interviewing, finding your passion, learning to cope with failure and becoming a leader. Some of his tips are generic: Be yourself, have a firm handshake, set goals. But his underlying message is much more individualized and provocative: “Nothing great comes easily,” he says. Growth – stretching yourself – is the true goal of a business career, and you grow through struggles and challenges. Malley argues that when you like your job and your co-workers and you reach a certain comfort level, it’s time to look elsewhere. Unfortunately, he presents most of his advice as abstract instructions though readers may wish he’d offered more war stories from his experiences to illustrate his concepts. Nevertheless, getAbstract warmly recommends this wide-ranging compendium of career wisdom to young professionals starting or changing their careers.

About the Author

A former university lecturer, Alex Malley is CEO of CPA Australia. He hosts The Bottom Line television show in Australia and mentors young people via the Naked CEO website.



“A Big Life”

Young people anticipate the transition from college to a career with a mixture of excitement and anxiety. They know they could face plenty of difficult experiences. Instead of fearing these difficulties, welcome them – they are the keys to building a big life. You won’t get anywhere shying away from failure, mistakes, rejection or other adversity. Regard difficulties as catalysts for growth. They provide opportunities to learn new skills, toughen your resilience and boost your self-confidence. To reach your goals, step out of your comfort zone and replace fear with passion, authenticity, confidence and patience.

First Things First

If you are still in college, your priority is to finish. Build the lifelong habit of completing the tasks you undertake. In school, this principle applies to finishing individual courses and to graduating. Instead of trying courses and dropping them if you don’t like them, carefully choose studies that align with your career goals. The knowledge you gain at school is pivotal to developing your self-confidence. Draw up a daily plan with sufficient time for study. Set up an environment that’s appropriate to your studying...

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