Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Corner Office

Adam Bryant is the author of the weekly "Corner Office" column in The New York Times.  The column is structured as Q&A with executives from a broad range of industries covering subjects ranging from management to leadership to hiring.  Adam has published a new book The Corner Office: Indispensable and Unexpected Lessons From CEOs on How to Lead and Succeed - - a look at the attributes and qualities from a sample of 70 leaders from the column.  The good news: these traits are not genetic.  It's not as if you have to be tall or left-handed.  These qualities are developed through attitude, habit and discipline - - factors that are within your control.  They will make you stand out.

Consider the following list of key points from the book - -
  • They are passionately curious people.
  • They want to know people's stories, and what they do.
  • Relentless questioning - - it helps spot opportunities.
  • "I am a student of human nature"
  • Not the smartest - - but the best students.  They learn from everybody.
  • ."Passionate Curiosity"
  • Their greatest contributions might be asking the right questions.
  • They want to hear about your failures.
  • Driven by a strong work ethic forged in adversity.
  • They like people that have overcome something.
  • Positive attitude mixed with a sense of purpose and determination.
  • They have team smarts - - learned lessons in team sports.
  • Are you reliable?  Are you a playmaker?  What does the team need?
  • Build a team, manage a team, recruit a team, work well with a team - - figure this out!!
  • Simple - - concise and get to the point.
  • Hate unfocused thinking.
  • PowerPoint - - you lose the "Power" if you don't get to the "Point."
  • Premium on the ability to synthesize.
  • Connect dots in new ways.
  • Are you fearless?
  • Do you have an appreciation for change?
  • Can you mentor people quickly up the learning curve?

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