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Before I Was CEO. Life Stories and Lessons from Leaders Before They Reached the Top

  • ID: 3642869
  • Book
  • 240 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Praise for Before I Was CEO

"A much–needed reminder that successful careers are full of twists and turns and that people who lead most effectively aren′t always the ones with the burning desire for power."
Adam Grant, Wharton professor and New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take

"At last, some in–depth reporting that explains how and why people really got ahead, rather than the over–simplified platitudes that make up most business advice books. Peter Vanham has coaxed lively and revealing accounts from some of the world′s prominent chief executives."
James B. Stewart, Columnist, New York Times; Winner, Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting; Author of Heart of a Soldier, Blood Sport, and Den of Thieves

"Peter Vanham really delves deep in his interviews with several of the world′s leading entrepreneurs and corporate leaders. The result is not only a compelling set of expertly weaved narratives but also some genuinely valuable insights, especially into what keeps business leaders going even in their darkest hours."
James Kynge, Emerging Markets Editor, Financial Times; Author of China Shakes the World

"Life stories are always intriguing and fascinating. This marvelous book provides glimpses and at times profound insights into the lives of leaders, and deep reflections on what we can learn from their experiences and choices."
Lynda Gratton, Professor, London Business School; Author of The 100 Year Life

"Before I Was CEO is a lifting of the curtains on the personal itineraries of twenty diverse CEOs ... a unique set of accounts, deeply personal and compellingly instructive."
Michael Useem, Wharton Professor, From the Foreword

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Foreword xi

Introduction xv

Part I: Adversity 1

Chapter 1: Finding True North 3

The Story of Orit Gadiesh, Bain & Company 4

The Story of David Kenny, IBM 9

Lessons Learned 14

Endnotes 18

Chapter 2: The Dot–Com Crisis 19

The Story of Kris Gopalakrishnan, Infosys 22

The Story of David Kenny, IBM (cont d) 26

The Story of Raf Keustermans, Plumbee 28

The Unraveling & Lessons Learned 30

Part II: Opportunities 39

Chapter 3: Living the American Dream 41

The Story of Alberto Vitale, Random House 41

Lesson Learned 55

Endnotes 57

Chapter 4: Serendipity 59

The Story of Geoffrey Garrett, The Wharton School 61

The Story of Peter Henry, NYU Stern 68

Lessons Learned 75

Endnotes 76

Part III: Off the Beaten Track 77

Chapter 5: A Shining Path 79

The Story of Paul Bulcke, Nestle 80

Lessons Learned 90

Chapter 6: Brewing in the Brousse 92

The Story of Jean–Francois van Boxmeer, Heineken 92

Lessons Learned 104

Endnotes 109

Part IV: Breaking Free and Coming Home 111

Chapter 7: Breaking Free 113

The Story of Rick Goings, Tupperware Brands 114

The Story of Susan Cameron, Reynolds American Inc. 121

Lessons Learned 129

Endnotes 131

Chapter 8: Coming Home 132

The Story of Barry Salzberg, Deloitte 133

The Story of Johan Aurik, A.T. Kearney 139

The Story of Steve Davis, PATH 144

Lessons Learned 149

Endnotes 150

Part V: Role Models 151

Chapter 9: Father s Footsteps 153

The Story of Richard Edelman, Edelman 155

The Story of Andrew Likierman, London Business School 159

The Story of Chris Burggraeve, Vicomte 165 165

Lessons Learned 174

Endnotes 176

Chapter 10: Practical Advice 178

The Story of Gail McGovern, American Red Cross 179

The Story of Patrick De Maeseneire, Jacobs Holding 184

Conclusions 195

What They Didn t Need 195

Building a Career from Interests 196

Climbing the Ladder 198

Learning to Deal with Failure 198

Leaving Home 199

Making Informed Choices 200

Valuing the Importance of Family 201

Surfing theWaves of History 202

Setting Aside Your CEO Ambitions 204

Remembering Lessons Learned 205

Endnote 206

About the Author 207

Acknowledgments 208

Index 211

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Peter Vanham
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