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The Rookie CEO, You Can't Make This Stuff Up!

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The Rookie CEO, You Can't Make This Stuff Up!

Learn how 9 rookie CEOs got there, executed, created their stories and led!

Bill Miller,

15 min read
9 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Consultant Bill Miller shares stories no one could invent about the mishaps of rookie CEOs. 

Editorial Rating



  • Eye Opening
  • Background
  • Concrete Examples


In this tour of mistakes by new CEOs, executive coach Bill Miller shares his experiences working with rookie leaders in his long career as a consultant. Dividing the book into four sections – path, philosophy, culture and leadership style – Miller details the qualities that give certain rookie chief executives an edge and tells readers where others went wrong. You will savor the successes and failures of the Builder, the Flyboy, the Cyclone and the Innovatist, among others. Miller likes a funny story, and facing these CEOs’ most egregious errors, he throws up his hands and exclaims, “You can’t make this stuff up!”


Nine CEO archetypes illustrate the mistakes rookies make.

A rookie CEO can come from any background and may have experience in many fields at companies of different sizes, from start-up ventures to legacy corporations. From his two decades as a consultant, Bill Miller distills his experience with new CEOs down to nine archetype rookies whose stories exemplify the challenges and opportunities of new chief executives.

Each leader is different. And each rookie CEO’s background foretold what kind of leader he or she became.When you list the factors that influence a leader’s approach, factor in the company’s revenue stage – from start-ups with funding of up to $5 million to large-stage companies with assets around $100 million.

The prototype rookies at smaller companies fall into these four categories.

  • The Builder – This rookie is honest and well-meaning. Her biggest challenge is hiring outside her circle of friends.
  • The Technoid – This rookie is intelligent and hardworking. Her challenge is her introversion. 
  • The Innovatist – This rookie has ...

About the Author

Tech industry consultant, speaker, coach and executive adviser Bill Miller worked for the rookie CEOs whom he features in his book.

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