The Right and Wrong Stuff is a candid, unvarnished guide to the bumpy road to success. The shocking truth is that 98 percent of us have at least one career-derailment risk factor, and half to two-thirds actually go off the rails. And the reason why people get fired, demoted, or plateau is because they let the wrong stuff act out, not because they lack talent, energy, experience, or credentials.
Carter Cast himself had all the right stuff for a brilliant career, when he was called into his boss's office and berated for being obstinate, resistant, and insubordinate. That defining moment led to a years-long effort to understand why he came so close to getting fired, and what it takes to build a successful career.
His wide range of experiences as a rising, falling, and then rising star again at PepsiCo, an entrepreneur, the CEO of Walmart.com, and now a professor and venture capitalist enables him to identify the five archetypes found in every workplace. You'll recognize people you work with (maybe even yourself) in Captain Fantastic, the Solo Flyer, Version 1.0, the One-Trick Pony, and the Whirling Dervish, and, thanks to Cast's insights, they won't be able to trip up your future.
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About the Author
Cast's writings have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. He has been a guest on shows on Bloomberg, CNN, CNBC and Fox. Prior to his academic and venture-capital career, Cast was the chief executive officer at Walmart.com. During his tenure, Walmart.com became the third-highest-volume e-commerce company, behind Amazon and eBay. Before his career at Walmart, Cast was an officer and part of the launch team for Blue Nile, Inc., the leading online diamond and jewelry retailer, now a publicly traded company. Prior to that, he was vice president of product marketing for Electronic Arts, launching products such as The Sims. Cast started his career at PepsiCo, where he derailed early on before recovering to become director of marketing in the Frito-Lay division.
Table of Contents
Introduction: My Blind Spot and Its Trap Door 1
Part 1 The Five Archetypes 17
1 Captain Fantastic: Human Wrecking Balls Who Wreck Themselves 19
2 The Solo Flier: "Step Aside, I've Got This" 49
3 Version 1.0: Inflexible and Dated 79
4 The One-Trick Pony: Mind the (Skill) Gap 109
5 The Whirling Dervish: Overcommitting and Underdelivering 135
Part 2 Accelerating Your Career 155
6 The Right Stuff 157
7 Understanding Your Motives 189
8 You Can't Count on "The Man": The Cold, Hard Facts of Our DIY World 211
Appendix: "The Wrong Stuff" Derailment Assessment 237