THE EXECUTIVE LIFE by The Editors of Fortune


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A revealing report, this adds another to Fortune's series of portraits of the business world (see Is Anybody Listening? The Fabulous Future etc.) and, with the current interest in the executive character, seems slated for perhaps an even wider market than the others. What and who is an executive? Fortune asks. To find its answers Nine Hundred (a number that may become as famous as the Four Hundred) of the nation's top businessmen were polled and their answers collated under the subject headings:- where they are from, how they get their jobs, how hard they work, how they crack up, how they get raises, delegate power, make decisions, retire, and, how to become an executive in the first place. From Fortune's material the composite portrait would run as follows. Our executive is from the Middle West or the East, from a family with business connections, makes $70,000 to $100,000 per year, is between 50 and 60, has been with his company 20 to 30 years, has a college degree in science or engineering , usually came up through the sales or financial end of the business and has been about five years in his present position. This is but a partial picture, the variations and extensions of which make fascinating reading. Broader implications of the executive life, especially as it is based on the money making idea, lead only -inevitably to the conclusion that it is a predominantly authoritarian way which, in America today, must be disguised as democratic. Yet in coming to this conclusion and is laying bare the less attractive qualities of the ilk, Fortune has also expressed tacit approval of the system. Few will be offended.

Publisher: Doubleday