C-Suite 101: How to Become a Chief Executive Officer

What does it take to become a CEO? The answer isn’t that simple. “There are too many variables, many of them beyond your control, including luck, timing and personal chemistry” that go into directing someone’s course to chief executive officer, explains New York Times journalist Adam Bryant.

Indeed, the diversity among successful CEOs today is striking.

Journalist Adam Bryant of the celebrated “Corner Office” column in the New York Times has learned this firsthand. After interviewing 525 CEOs over the course of nearly a decade, one thing he’s discovered is that CEOs possess “a rare vantage point for spotting patterns about management, leadership, and human behavior.”

In the closing article for his Corner Office column, Bryant breaks down some of the many insights he gleaned from his chief executive interviews over the years. Three main themes emerged:

  1. CEOs possess applied curiosity: They question everything and extract lessons from every experience.
  2. CEOs love a challenge: They thrive on discomfort and solving problems.
  3. CEOs excel at their jobs on the way to the top: Way before becoming CEO, they knew that they had to do their current job well in order to advance up the ladder.

It doesn’t end there: Bryant has many more observations to share about leadership – from company culture, to gender, to hiring.

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