A debut guide delivers insights into what it takes to move into the much-coveted corner office in the business world.
In this compact book, Frangos focuses on the holy grail of the C-suite, which sits at the pinnacle of every professional career, and lays out not only a variety of reasons why people might want to achieve that goal, but also an assortment of methods for attaining it. The author has coached businesspeople for years, and in that time she’s noticed a comparative lack of literature on the philosophy and strategy of climbing to the executive level (as opposed to becoming a boss, about which there’s abundant reading matter available). In this volume’s clearly written, fast-paced chapters, she breaks down the characteristics of the four “core paths” to the C-suite: the Tenured Executive, who rises steadily through the corporate ranks in the traditional way; the Free Agent, who’s recruited from outside the firm but otherwise fulfills most of the same expectations; the Leapfrog Leader, an “internal or external candidate” who possesses an unconventional mindset or approach to the business; and the Founder, who succeeds by creating a company or vision, bypassing the establishment entirely. Frangos examines each of these paths in detail, providing examples from the business world, citing other motivational books and authors frequently, and listing accelerating and derailing factors endemic to each track. In all cases, the author demands of her readers a fairly high degree of brutal self-awareness; anyone looking primarily for feel-good motivational pep talks will find very little of such material here. Instead, the key idea running through all of the C-suite breakdowns in these pages is one of managed sacrifice: Reaching the peaks of their professional careers requires readers to know who they are and what they are willing to do. Do they have the managerial elements that are needed? Frangos summarizes it all with a disarmingly simple question: “Is this the right plan for you?”
A lean and bracingly straightforward look at the core paths to the executive suite.