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Think Like a CEO

How studying the masters can help you get ahead.

By Liz Schmid

What is it that makes AT&T's Michael Armstrong a good CEO? And just what would Microsoft be without Bill Gates at the helm? Whatever it is that put these business lions in powerful positions, it is something that is not tangible, but ever present. By understanding the traits of the people at the top, you can improve your own success, whether you're striving for the CEO spot or some other position. Debra A. Benton's new book, How to Think Like a CEO: The 22 Vital Traits You Need to Be the Person at the Top (Little, Brown and Company, 1999), explains what these traits are and which ones you need - at any level - to make your own way at the top.

1. You're gutsy and a little wild, yet modest and in control.

This trait reflects the need to take risks, even early in your career. "So often we are afraid to move beyond the confines of the expected," says Katherine Ponds, a senior career management consultant at Right Management Consultants. Being in control of a gutsy move or situation is important. "Control suggests you've done your homework, and therefore are prepared to manage the outcome--positive or not." Modesty is secondary when faced with a challenge.

2. You're competitive and tenacious, yet flexible and generous.

The key here is to compete against yourself, not against others. "Most successful CEOs attach their sense of self-worth towards tangible results," says Ponds. Setting clear goals and pushing to achieve them involves this competitiveness. Actually reaching those goals requires tenacity, but beware of a fine line between tenacity and inflexibility. "Success usually comes with showing responsiveness in ever-changing business environments." Generosity, especially when it comes to group achievements, is the sign of a true leader.

3. You're willing to admit mistakes, yet unapologetic.

While admitting your mistakes may be a bit strong, it's better to acknowledge what didn't work, and to make sure the same situation doesn't occur again. A good CEO will also not be afraid to examine why the situation occurred, and waste no time placing blame. By taking this approach, apologies become unnecessary because 'mistakes' become opportunities to further learn and develop.

4. You're secure in yourself, yet constantly improving.

"As you develop professionally you should accumulate a collection of skills," Ponds says. "It is with this collection of skills that you can feel secure in your job." Ponds emphasizes that these two traits go hand in hand, and that you alone are responsible for how secure you feel. "Each employee is responsible for developing and expanding our own capabilities. Success can only be achieved through a commitment to life-long learning."

5. You're original and straightforward, yet think before you talk.

These traits are very important in every aspect of life, but vital to have a successful career. Originality and straightforwardness suggest that you are innovative, action-oriented and are able to think "out-of-the-box". However, do not go overboard. Make sure your ideas and concepts are well thought out, and that you present them in an articulate way. You do not want your fumbling or inability to answer any questions to overshadow what is a great and progressive idea.

Making these traits your own can boost your career and make it gratifying. However, do not forget to make it fun. If you do not find your career exhilarating and enjoyable, there is no reason to reach for those executive stars.

From India, Bangalore
Dear friends,
The traits of CEOs mentioned in this article appear to be the traits of persons with Type-A personality(super achievers). Type A personality is a predisposition of heart attack/cardiac problems. What is rate of CEOs with cardiac problems? I think, it needs to be explored. Does any one has any information?

From India, Delhi
Dear Anuraadhaa,
Thank you for your reply. I am not saying about effect. My question is what is the extent of side effect- the relationship between CEO personality, Type-A personalty and heart/cardiac problems.
The great news is that McDonald's CEO died of heart attack.

From India, Delhi
Hi Dr. Jogeshwar... You seem to lean more in the phychological view... anyway different viewing angles... :) :) :) Regards
From India, Madras
Dear atom leaf,
Thank you for reply. Post modern life has shifted the focus from balanced diet to balanced life. For a balanced life livelihood and life must go parallel. Here are the three focal components:
1.Cognitive fitness-appropriate cognition,
2.Nuitritional fitness-optimum nuitrition and
3. Alignment- optimum appropriate exercises.
In human resource management view, are one or more of these components ignorable?
How do you consider a CEO? As a moth, as a martyr or as a macho?

From India, Delhi
Top Stories

Saturday September 25, 12:14 PM

Changing lifestyles damaging young hearts

By Lola Nayar, Indo-Asian News Service

BrideGroom 18 - 2526 - 30 31 - 35 36 +

New Delhi, Sep 25 (IANS) For the couch potatoes, the new TV icon Jasmeet Walia nee Jassi's advice is to walk at least one hour every day to keep their heart fit and fighting.

More physical activity along with a healthy diet is the advice of cardiologists who point to a disquieting rise in heart problems among the people under 40 years of age.

Of 16.7 million annual deaths globally due to cardiovascular diseases, India accounts for around three million.

"Over the past decade there has been a significant rise in the people under 40 years suffering heart problems," said D.S. Gambhir, CEO and director of cardiology at the Kailash Heart Institute at Noida near the Indian capital.

"What is more, unlike in the case of older people, the younger people seem to have extensive diseases with not one but two or all the three coronary arteries having problems," Gambhir told IANS.

So when the young have a heart attack, the damage is more extensive, he said.

Spearheading awareness among school children for the last several years through his NGO Hriday, cardiologist K. Srinath Reddy of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) says improper diet and lack of physical activity are major reasons for many health problems among the younger age group.

Marking the World Heart Day Sunday, Reddy and his group are spreading awareness through an exhibition being held at AIIMS. The theme of the World Heart Day this year is 'Children, Adolescents and Heart Disease'.

"Our aim is to make children aware that a healthy lifestyle and diet at a young age will have impact on your health when you are 30-40 years," said Reddy, who has been advocating a diet of more green vegetables and fruits among children in 300 New Delhi schools.

"We need to have a food policy in India regulating the use of trans-fat and saturated fats, and instead advocate use of hydrogenated oil. Many countries have such regulations. We also need to have a food policy to make fruits and vegetable available at affordable prices to the poor people," he said.

Foods like white bread, biscuits, pizzas and recycled oil contain transfats that are particularly harmful to heart health.

While the risk factor of heart diseases in India is the same as globally, Indians are genetically predisposed to health problems like diabetes, though not much is known about the reasons.

Under nourishment, changing lifestyle from sedentary to an aggressive and stress-prone life as also high cholesterol diet and smoking all add to the risk factor.

One third of the people with a heart problem in India tend to get added complication of diabetes as against 18-20 percent globally, said Gambhir.

Around 50 percent of people dying of cardiovascular problems in India are in the 30-64 age group as against 20 percent below 70 years in the US, said Reddy, who has co-authored a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine about how low birth weight children who put on weight early in life are more prone to diabetes.

These children can also develop heart problems.

Urging a nationwide effort to promote healthy lifestyle, Reddy said in India around 60 percent of urban adults are prone to one or more risk factor for heart disease and heart attack. In rural areas it is 30-35 percent.

The high consumption of tobacco and smoking as also pollution are some major reasons for heart problems in India.

"What is worrying is that younger and younger people are getting heart problems. Half of people with hypertension don't know if they have any problem," said Mukesh Batra of Dr Batras' Positive Health Clinic Ltd, which has just launched a corporate package for regular check-ups.

"People working in corporates and under great stress are more liable to suffer heart problems as also strokes and kidney problems," said Batra, who believes homeopathy offers better treatment choice as against allopathic medicines.

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From India, Delhi
Namaskar Jogeshwar ji,
I strongly agree with you... ya most times materalistic world ignores the real value..
growth of our country is mis perceived in terms of only MNC's idea and implementation of those.
:) :) :)

From India, Madras
Hello Seniors & Freinds,

I am doing my MBA first year and new to the forum. Expect to learn a lot from you all. :)

By the way, today I came across this mail, so I thought I will start my posting with this content on a BOSS!

Scientists at the Rocket launching station in Thumba, were in the habit of working for nearly 12 to 18 hours a day. There were about Seventy such scientists working on a project. All the scientists were really frustrated due to the pressure of work and the demands of their boss but everyone was loyal to him and did not think of quitting the job.

One day, one scientist came to his boss and told him - Sir, I have promised to my children that I will take them to the exhibition going on in our township. So I want to leave the office at 5 30 pm.

His boss replied - O K, , You are permitted to leave the office early today.

The Scientist started working. He continued his work after lunch. As usual he got involved to such an extent that he looked at his watch when he felt he was close to completion. The time was 8.30 p.m . Suddenly he remembered of the promise he had given to his children. He looked for his boss. He was not there. Having told him in the morning itself, he closed everything and left for home.

Deep within himself, he was feeling guilty for having disappointed his children.

He reached home. Children were not there. His wife alone was sitting in the hall and reading magazines. The situation was explosive, any talk would boomerang on him.

His wife asked him - Would you like to have coffee or shall I straight away serve dinner if you are hungry.

The man replied - If you would like to have coffee, I too will have but what about Children???

Wife replied- You don't know - Your manager came at 5 15 p.m and has taken the children to the exhibition.

What had really happened was the boss who granted him permission was observing him working seriously at 5.00 p.m. He thought to himself, this person will not leave the work, but

if he has promised his children they should enjoy the visit to exhibition. So he took the lead in taking them to exhibition

The boss does not have to do it every time. But once it is done, loyalty is established.

That is why all the scientists at Thumba continued to work under their boss even though the stress was tremendous.

By the way , can you hazard a guess as to who the boss was????????













He was A P J Abdul Kalam.

NOW, The President of INDIA

Hi Ghouse,
*** Welcome to CiteHR ***
Dear Ghouse... you have posted an xcellent topic... i feel very new whenevr i read Mr.President's story... this story is a mega hit everywhere indeed.. however u made me feel like seeing same film for 5th time... same story has been posted here many times.....though i agree always its truly WONDERFULL....
expecting to see more of your postings and replies....
:) :) :)

From India, Madras
ya most times materalistic world ignores the real value..
growth of our country is mis perceived in terms of only MNC's idea and implementation of those.
Dear atomleaf,
Thanks for your nice posts. But I like to request post your above view with elaboration under the thread "Human resource in Indian enterprice". You can locate this thread either under the forum "Human resource mangement" or the topics under my name or if you so like I will paste the above quote under that thread, so that it will appear with current topics of discussion and you will continue. Please post your option.

From India, Delhi

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