Summary of A CEO Only Does Three Things

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A CEO Only Does Three Things book summary

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Trey Taylor advises CEOs to focus on three things – culture, talent and numbers. All CEOs must develop knowledge of their values and strengths, then embed those values in their organization to shape a culture with an unwavering commitment to core values. They must select personnel who can do the work and align with the culture. Chief executives choose key measures, set goals, track them and share the results company-wide. Taylor's practical wisdom and relevant illustrations will help you see clearly what really matters in business and executive leadership.

About the Author

Trey Taylor is the managing director of trinity | blue, a consultancy for top executives. He has experience in technology, financial services, venture capital, and commercial real estate development and is a frequent public speaker. 


To succeed as a chief executive officer, you must master the ability to focus.

Chief executives must focus on the right things. Successful CEOs spend their time on their people, their organization’s culture and its numbers. Each of these critical drivers of business success impels the others.

Top leaders face a relentless stream of choices and decisions. This leads to decision fatigue as the brain’s ability to pay attention and make well-considered choices erodes. Wise CEOs realize they don’t have a magical ability to make optimal decisions across every aspect of their business. They understand that those closer to the opportunity or challenge have better information and should make decisions.

Generally, CEOs should have the knowledge, vision and information to make decisions on people, numbers and culture. Elsewhere, they should delegate. Being CEO is three times harder and more stressful than the next most difficult position in the firm. Don’t do unnecessary work. 

CEOs who fail to lead culture, people and numbers will see these elements of the business proceed...

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