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Top Dog

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Top Dog

A Different Kind of Book About Becoming an Excellent Leader


15 min read
10 take-aways
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What's inside?

If you think you want to grow up to be CEO, think again. The role of CEO is changing rapidly into the role of chief blame-taker, communicator, spokesperson, fundraiser, advertiser, advocate, and folk hero. The pay is great, but you really earn it.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative


J. David Pincus and J. Nicholas DeBonis have written a most inventive book. A fictional story about a CEO in crisis is told between chapters of this non-fiction assessment of CEOs and advice regarding how they can meet the needs of our changing corporate times. Based on ten years of research and interviews with CEOs in the Fortune 500, this book is very detailed, but written in an engaging conversational style. With a focus on communication as the key to effective leadership, the book humanizes its strategies so they come to life on each page. getAbstract recommends this book not only for top corporate management and "top dogs," but also for anyone working in the corporate world.


Being a CEO

Everyone, it seems, is in awe of Chief Executive Officers. They have become the latest celebrities, and more and more young people want to become CEOs as opposed to pursuing the more traditional dreams of becoming president, a movie star, or a sports hero. A Wall Street Journal "Pepper ...and Salt" cartoon cleverly captured this trend by showing a young man seated across the desk from a personnel consultant who has asked the job applicant about his career goals. The young man leans forward and says, "Eventually, I’d like to get into CEOing." According to a recent Exec magazine survey of 1500 lower and middle managers, three out of four admitted to fantasizing daily about being the CEO of their company.

What they don’t realize is that being a CEO doesn’t resemble the job they are envisioning, and isn’t even what it once was. So much about the corporate world has changed in just the last decade that CEOs have been left scrambling as they try to figure out exactly what is expected of them.

CEOs used to be chosen based on their talent for controlling, organizing, planning, and giving the right orders. Basically, they were expected to direct and manage...

About the Authors

J. David Pincus, Ph.D., director of the MBA program at the University of Arkansas, has worked as Marriott Corporation’s employee communication director, communications head for two national trade associations, and consultant to many major companies. He writes widely about management communication and organizational effectiveness. J. Nicholas DeBonis, Ph.D., is an Atlanta-based marketing and communication consultant to Fortune 500 firms and a teacher at Emory University’s business school. He has conducted nearly 500 business seminars in the U.S. and Canada.

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