CKGSB Knowledge - China Business and Economy

Finding the CEO in You

Many people aim to climb the corporate ladder even though the responsibilities of a CEO are immense, and their failures can be embarrassingly public. What does it take to become the CEO of a top company or simply advance to your full potential professionally?

Endless business magazine profiles and hagiographic biographies reinforce the tropes of the corporate high-flier: charismatic, manically committed, out-of-the-box thinker. It all suggests that unless you can measure up to Richard Branson, do not even bother applying. But Elena Botelho says that conventional wisdom and larger-than-life public profiles are misleading.

For more than 10 years, Botelho has led a study into what it takes to get to the top and succeed called the CEO Genome Project, working with ghSMART’s database of 18,000 C-level executive assessments and 13,000 hours of interviews. Her conclusion, as she and coauthor Kim Powell set out in their book, The CEO Next Door, is that “much of what we hear about who gets to the top, and how, is wrong.”

In this interview, Botelho shares the four behaviors that differentiate successful CEOs and can help anyone accelerate their career.

Q. In The CEO Next Door , you say

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