The Accidental CEO: A Leader's Journey from Ego to Purpose

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Overview

After an intense year of damage-control duty in Europe, former Marine lieutenant, Bob Harris, is suddenly summoned back to Chicago for an emergency Board meeting. Catching the red-eye from London to New York then on to Chicago, he relaxes in the early morning meeting, his fatigued mind drifting back over the tumultuous events of recent months, when he’s jolted out of his reverie. “Bob, the Board wants you to take over as interim CEO while we conduct a formal search. In the meantime you need to stop the bleeding ...
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Overview

After an intense year of damage-control duty in Europe, former Marine lieutenant, Bob Harris, is suddenly summoned back to Chicago for an emergency Board meeting. Catching the red-eye from London to New York then on to Chicago, he relaxes in the early morning meeting, his fatigued mind drifting back over the tumultuous events of recent months, when he’s jolted out of his reverie. “Bob, the Board wants you to take over as interim CEO while we conduct a formal search. In the meantime you need to stop the bleeding and get us on solid footing with the PDQ acquisition.” In this engaging business fiction debut, Tom Voccola convincingly takes us into the pressured, reactionary world of the Accidental CEO, and delivers a powerful new message for all who aspire to lead. As he’s propelled into the spotlight as the company’s rising young executive star, Bob decides to keep his strategy and anxieties close to the vest—until he realizes what got him to the seat won’t ensure his success as CEO. Seeing his struggle, an enlightened Board member compels Bob to see a former CEO turned consultant who reveals three secrets of leadership wisdom unknown to most of today’s new CEOs, yet critical to leading today’s free-agent, distributed organizations. In an intense often combative exchange, the two debate fundamental issues faced by all leaders – issues involving self knowledge, choice and the stunning transformation that can come from unleashing the exponential power of Purpose and Passion in oneself and others.
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What People Are Saying

Brett Modesti
"Tom Voccola takes people from zero to Purpose & Passion in one day."
CEO, CREW Real Estate Services, Inc., Westlake Village, California
Charles A. Coonradt
"The Accidental CEO is the absolute antithesis of the Peter Principle. This is the stuff from which CEO legends are born. The lines are blurred between fact and fiction in this masterpiece."
Author and CEO, The Game of Work
Dennis Gomes
"Leadership gurus tell us we need it, spiritual gurus say we have it inside. But no one has shown us how to actually access the power of our Purpose and Passion until now. The Accidental CEO is extraordinary. This stuff needs to be taught in graduate schools."
Former CEO, Steve Wynn’s Golden Nugget, Donald Trump’s Taj Mahal and Tropicana Resorts, CEO, Gomes Casino Management
Jay Conrad Levinson
"Tom Voccola has made a substantial contribution to literature with this brilliant work of business fiction. As insightful as it is exciting, and as instructive as it is fascinating, The Accidental CEO is a true page-turner. Tom’s work will be long remembered by the reader as a solid CEO instruction manual as well as an exquisite tale."
Author Guerrilla Marketing series of books Over 14 million sold in 41 languages
Pamela Popielarski
"What I learned from Tom Voccola helped prepare me for this job. The Accidental CEO teaches leadership principles that are crucial to success for any CEO. It will play an important role in the success of many current leaders, and indeed, will launch the careers of many more."
CEO, Tropicana Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, NJ
Paul Dies
"This book conveys a vital message about what REALLY powers organizations and how to dramatically increase that power. Anyone with leadership experience, or wanting it, will relate to The Accidental CEO in a very personal, if not deeply meaningful way."
CEO, PROACTION, Inc.
Ron Wert
"The Accidental CEO is a must read for anyone finding themselves in or considering a CEO (or leadership) position. The process of self-discovery outlined in his work will improve both the effectiveness and the joy of leadership."
CEO, Cottage Hospital Systems, Santa Barbara, California
Steven Gomes
"The Accidental CEO is to Leadership what The Goal has been to Ongoing Improvement. Tom Voccola succeeds in showing us how ordinary people can change the world in our lifetimes- and he does it by using an entertaining and enlightening story."
Ph.D. Professor, Maastricht School of Management, Holland
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781411688575
  • Publisher: Lulu.com
  • Publication date: 4/28/2006
  • Pages: 267
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2008

    An MBA Must Read

    I am an adjunct professor with the MBA program at Maastricht School of Management in Maastricht, Holland. My primary teaching responsibilities include courses for MBA and DBA students focused on Executive Leadership, Advanced Business Strategy, Strategic Alliances, Mergers and Acquisitions and International Business. These students are located on the main campuses and 36 auxiliary campuses around the world. I have used the book, The Accidental CEO, as one of the primary resources for my students to get inside the head of what it feels like to be a CEO and to confront the real leadership issues that CEOs have to resolve in their everyday work life. Both the students and I have found Mr. Voccola¿s book to be an invaluable source of stimulating class discussion. It offers the students a realistic portrayal of the daily dynamic of corporate leadership. It maps out what it means to gain the loyalty of your core leadership team through the means of an inner conversation about who you are as a CEO. It links the performance of the CEO to his understanding of himself and ultimately how important it is for the CEO to get clear about his or her real purpose and unique contribution. Mr. Voccola¿s book is the perfect segue into the discussion of self knowledge as the key to leadership performance breakthroughs. After reading this book, the students quit speaking in the abstract and begin to really grasp the concrete realities of the leadership journey. It has sparked numerous highly motivated classroom discussions and has caused several of my students to focus on various aspects of successful leadership as their research topic for their MBA theses. I highly recommend this book without reservation for any reader who wants to gain deep insight to the real dynamics of leadership and personal success both in business and in life. Professor Dr. Stephen L. Gomes

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2007

    Know thyself

    This is a good book. It's worth taking the time to read. It is not the self-congratulating story of some guy who made it big in corporate America. It is about the most important person in the world ¿ YOU! It is a guide book to understanding yourself. To understanding the things that you are most passionate about. It will help you remember those times at work or school where everything just 'felt right' and where work was really fun and more like play. And it will use those memories to identify what your 'passion' is that thing that most excites you and most closely aligns with your deeply held sense of who you are. You'll also discover your 'purpose' which is what you do that is most satisfying to your soul. Identifying your passion and purpose is more than just an exercise in studying your navel. The author then demonstrates how knowing your passion & purpose can influence you interactions with others. How it can benefit you at home, at work and in your community. How you can be happy and successful. Knowledge is power and knowledge about yourself is the most powerful. Mr. Voccola has been teaching seminars about purpose and passion to corporate customers for many years. This book is the distillation of his seminar work, told in an entertaining fictional manner. It makes the information accessible and easily applied by the reader.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2007

    The real goods

    This is how your review will appear: This is one of the most compelling, authentic, honest business books I've ever read. It grabs you where you live -- you see and hear yourself in the struggle, and more importantly, in the victories of this book. Do yourself a favor -- believe that YOU can do this too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2007

    Leadership from the Heart

    Some people think that a book about corporate management would be dull, written in a convoluted textbook style, and interspersed with some anecdotal stories. This book, however, blows the lid on that notion. The Accidental CEO is written in an engrossing narrative style that also serves as an inspirational guide for anyone who desires to become a passionate and powerful leader. Discover how to shift your mind from a state of reaction to pure creation and how to fill more than just a financial need from work, but also an emotional desire. This book sheds light into the world of business, a place all of us eventually enter, but few of us truly understand. A must read not only for CEOs, but all individuals who seek a deep sense of fulfillment in their careers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2007

    A must read for anyone in an organization!!

    A must read for anyone in an organization looking to bring the company together, on purpose and engaged. Living out of purpose and passion drives leaders and organizations to higher levels, and Tom Voccola does an excellent job in his book laying out the process to transform any organization. He sets out a system to move from ego to purpose and passion and create an extraordinary organization. You will not want to put this book down once you start reading!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2007

    What Do You Get When You Cross a Great Story with Practical Leadership From The Heart?

    Rarely have I read such in depth and practical lessons on authentic leadership, wrapped in so engaging a story. Having read Tom Voccola's The Accidental CEO several times now, I'm gaining an even deeper understanding of his material. Following Tom's lead character as he unexpectedly assumes the mantle of leadership, we gain an understanding of the challenges that face leaders in every walk of life as well as the thought processes that occur within the leader. This transparency gives us the unique opportunity to witness the transformation he goes through on his journey from 'manager' to CEO. We also get to see the dangerous traps that are so easy to set foot in, and how best to avoid them as he walks the path of transforming not only himself, but his entire corporate culture. What was at one time two companies within a company becomes a unified team under a genuine leader. After reading Tom's book the first time, we engaged Tom and his team at CEO2 to work with our companies. These aren't just academic theories. They work. Our company culture was transformed within one 3 day workshop. The follow up work we did energized our growth as individuals and as an organization. Read The Accidental CEO, A Leader's Journey From Ego To Purpose. Then visit Tom's CEO2.com website. The journey begins...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2007

    A Tale Worth Reading

    Tom Voccola has captured the true emotions and challenges of first time CEO's. The transition is usually so dramatic that it catches the new leader unprepared emotionally and strategically. Tom smoothly guides you through the power and possibility of a large organizational transformation by telling the story of one such CEO who learns to let go of his limiting beliefs and dream for a better more enlightened culture. A great read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2008

    How to Engage an Organization by Engaging Oneself

    This book uses a story format to describe a process for deepening leaders¿ self-awareness and to provide a framework for ¿creating a game worth playing.¿ The book is well-organized, engaging, and the content is extremely valuable. By following the framework, leaders can develop clarity around their personal vision and then translate it to their organization¿s purpose. The second section of the book focuses on formulating a strategy to engage employees in the organization¿s vision and purpose. Voccola provides points to consider at the end of each chapter. As a leader of a large division of 800 people, I found the book practical and effective in providing me tools to lead my organization to success. I¿ve always had the belief that growing into leadership is an ¿inside job¿ but have not found many books to help me expand my self-awareness as it relates to being a leader. It was easy for me to translate the story to my own situation and then apply the framework with my leadership team. I highly recommend this book to anyone who either accidentally or intentionally finds themselves in a leader role.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2007

    Cutting Edge

    Tom skillfully walks the reader through a discovery of one¿s self and then how to apply one¿s passion and purpose to transforming organizations. If you¿ve ever managed a group or been a CEO yourself, you¿ll find a very familiar cast of characters and personalities represented in this book. This book is a powerful tool for those on the cutting edge of management disciplines.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2007

    Purpose and Passion

    Tom Voccola's 'The Accidental CEO' is an excellent story portraying a leader's search for vision, starting with his own purpose and passion, then engaging the rest of his organization to do the same individually and corporately. This model of transformational leadership is the paradigm of a more human economy. This is the way to energize an organization around a unified purpose.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2007

    A Roadmap to Busness Success

    In an exciting and easly understood narrative Tom Vocolla has provided a real life picture of the inside workings and self imposed limitations for successful growth in the business world and laid out a roadmap for change. He clearly shows that by having all members of an organization working towards the same goals and recognizing the important role each plays in the firm's revenue generation process will, in an exciting way, bring out the best in each member of the Team. This is a 'Must Read' for all aspiring business persons.

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