What the Best CEOs Know: 7 Exceptional Leaders and their Lessons for Transforming Any Business / Edition 1

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Leadership lessons from the best--Gates, Welch, Dell, Gerstner, Kelleher, Grove, and Walton

What are the traits, tactics, and strategies of the business world's most transformative leaders . . . and what can the rest of us learn from them? In What the Best CEOs Know, leadership authority Jeffrey Krames examines the careers of seven of history's most accomplished CEOs--including in-depth interviews with Michael Dell, Lou Gerstner, and Herb Kelleher--to get candid answers to many of today's most compelling business questions.

The result is a blueprint-like framework that instructs as well as it informs, and provides managers with the firsthand secrets of leadership giants. Proven learning tools--from cases and lesson summaries to selfassessment exercises--reinforce the book's methods and key ideas. Each chapter of What the Best CEOs Know provides innovative features including:

  • Assess Your CEO Quotient

  • Leadership Lessons of the CEO

  • What would Jack Welch et al. do?

A host of well-known and bestselling books have detailed the success formulas of specific CEOs. But until now, no single book has compiled the strategies of several CEOs--let alone the world's most well-known business leaders--into a handbook for achieving breakthrough corporate stewardship. What the Best CEOs Know does exactly that, combining the wisdom, strategies, and tactics of today's most accomplished CEOs into one powerful and one-of-a-kind business resource.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In his opening remarks, Krames identifies the "celebrity CEO." This person is the company leader who's "idealized, even idolized," whose image graces magazine and book covers, and who is often asked to weigh in on the issues of the day. Celebrity CEOs ran wild in the 1990s and early 2000s. Alas, says Krames, v-p and publisher of McGraw-Hill's business books division, the celebrity CEO's era has ended. But some champion CEOs of that time do have wisdom to impart, and in this thorough and thoughtful examination of successful leadership strategies, Krames dissects the ideas of some of the biggest names that have graced business headlines in the past 10 or so years. The list is impressive: Michael Dell (Dell Computer), Jack Welch (GE), Lou Gerstner (IBM), Andy Grove (Intel), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Herb Kelleher (Southwest Airlines) and Sam Walton (Wal-Mart). Although only one of the subjects still holds the CEO title, all seven have implemented world-famous success methods. Krames pinpoints their defining traits (e.g., they are evangelical, but not necessarily charismatic) and strategies (e.g., prepare for change; foster learning), using specific examples and quotes. Sidebars (entitled "What Would Andy Grove Do?"; "What Would Jack Welch Do?" etc.) break up the text. This is a smart, timely book that deserves reading for the lessons it teaches and for the business history it inadvertently imparts. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Jeffrey A. Krames, the author of The Rumsfeld Way, delivers a leadership guide that examines the specific skills and styles that have helped the CEOs he profiles achieve business success. Krames describing the paths to corporate success that were taken by business icons Michael Dell, Bill Gates, Intel's Andy Grove, Jack Welch and Southwest's Herb Kelleher. What the Best CEOs Know features interviews, expert analysis, and interactive case studies along with ways readers can apply tested strategies to their own careers. Copyright © 2003 Soundview Executive Book Summaries
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071382403
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 3/1/2003
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 204
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey A. Krames is a vice president and publisher at McGraw-Hill, and has two decades of experience in business and financial publishing. He is the bestselling author of The Rumsfeld Way and The Jack Welch Lexicon of Leadership.

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Table of Contents

The Era of the CEO? 1
Pt. 1 What Made Them Great 17
Ch. 1 The Exceptional Seven and the Traits That Defined Them 19
Pt. 2 Defining Strategies of Exceptional Leaders 53
Ch. 2 Place the Customer at the Epicenter of the Business Model: Michael Dell and the Art of the Customer 55
Ch. 3 Create an Authentic Learning Organization: How Jack Welch Converts Learning into Results 79
Ch. 4 Focus on Solutions: Lou Gerstner on Creating a Customer-Obsessed IBM 107
Ch. 5 Prepare the Organization for Drastic Change: Andy Grove on Strategic Inflection Points 131
Ch. 6 Harness the Intellect of Every Employee: Bill Gates on Creating a Knowledge-Based Organization 153
Ch. 7 Create a Performance-Drive Culture: Herb Kelleher on the Importance of Creating a Family-Like Culture 173
Ch. 8 Learn from Competitors, but Remain Faithful to the Vision: How Sam Walton's Vision Created the World's Largest Company 197
Acknowledgments 221
Notes/Sources 225
Index 241
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