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The Corner Office: Indispensable and…

The Corner Office: Indispensable and Unexpected Lessons from CEOs on How… (2011)

by Adam Bryant

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
For his new book, "The Corner Office," Adam Bryant interviewed dozens of successful business executives and leaders to answer a simple question: "How did you get to where you are?" The result is not your typical management how-to but a chance to be the "fly on the wall" as these leaders share their stories, suggestions, advice, and lessons for new and experienced managers and leaders.

Bryant organizes the book around three broad themes: "Succeeding," "Managing," and "Leading." The advantage of this structure is that readers are able to pick and choose sections to read based on their experiences and needs; there is no need to start at page one and plow through to the end.

I'd also like to commend Bryant for staying out of the way of the CEOs themselves. His prose is simple and to the point, serving to bridge the selections from his interviews rather than distracting from them.

While I wouldn't recommend this as a first book on management, it is a useful supplement for further reflection and insights. ( )
  sullijo | May 3, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
By being grounded in interviews with practicing CEOs, this book does not fall into the platitude-ridden traps of many management books. It thus contains tons of good advice for managers of many levels. As CEOs face the unique challenge of managing an entire organization, the advice will, at time, sometimes seem a little distant to managers of staff (line managers). However, managers of managers (i.e. Sr. Managers, Directors, VPs) will find a wealth of applicable advice.

Adam Bryant's writing style is fluid and lively, as would be expected from a newspaper writer. And he clearly connects with his interviewees, drawing out anecdotes from their past as well as a number of generally applicable aphorisms. He demonstrates a genuine skill in combing through a large number of interviews and drawing out common themes.

While infrequent, there some discussion with the interviewees about how they struggled and evolved their style. While there weren't many stories about how the interviewees learned what they learned, those that were present were helpful.

Regardless, this book already has a number of bent pages and highlighter marks. And I anticipate that it will be loaned out frequently.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary LibraryThing Early Reviewer copy of the book. ( )
  ricksbooks | Apr 28, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The Corner Office
A good read for any level of management. Some of the stories are priceless. The Corner Office is highly recommended for entry level managers who want to take a break from all the tomes on management that are presently on the market. It would be invaluable to seasoned managers to keep those skills fresh.
Adam Bryant has a great writing style. It flows, which is important in a work about succeeding as a manger and a leader. True, Bryant has a plethora of material to work with given the amount of quotes at his disposal but there is a gift in putting all this material together in a way that gets its message across to the reader and, more importantly, retains a high level of interest for the reader.
Nuggets-of-gold statements, such as “Don’t micro-manage but have micro-interest,” pepper this work and serve to supplement the strong chapters. One strong chapter is “Smart Interviewing.” This in itself is a tool of great value that will help managers avoid the pitfalls that are inherent in finding that right candidate for an open position. The open-ended questions are brilliant and thought provoking, which is the purpose. You need to see that the new recruit can think on his feet.
Anecdotes by corporate giants like Terry Lundgren and Joe Plumeri are excellent and serve to confirm that one of the most important aspects of management and leadership is the “human” element. Perhaps the most telling example of this involves a general, a private of a platoon doing infantry operations in terrible weather and the importance of small gestures. You’ll have to read it for yourself, though. Those stories, along with many others in this book, are well worth the read.
Enjoy. ( )
  nvgomez | Apr 27, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The advice in this book is useful. Bryant gleans the best advice from a larger number of effective leaders, and he delivers it in a simple, conversational format. I enjoyed reading this book and found it worth my time, despite having read quite a bit in this genre. ( )
  jpsnow | Apr 10, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I won this as part of Library Thing's Early Reviewer program. Mr. Bryant is the author of the NY Times' "Corner Office" column. As a result, he interviews many Chief Executive Officers (CEOs). This book analyzes those interviews in an attempt to document common themes identified by a wide variety of CEOs as they relate to leadership.

The book is divided into three parts -- Succeeding, Managing, and Leading. While most CEOs interviewed seemed to be on the fast track for leadership, it's clear that for many the path was not an express lane. They had some lessons to learn along the way, and they share those lessons.

If you're wondering what it takes to be a top leader -- either to quantify qualities you identify in others or to see how you measure up, this book will help you do that while providing a path to follow if you decide you want to pursue a top leadership role. I highly recommend this book. ( )
  PolarBear | Apr 5, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805093060, Hardcover)

Dozens of top CEOs reveal their candid insights on the keys to effective leadership and the qualities that set high performers apart.

What does it take to reach the top in business and to inspire others? Adam Bryant of The New York Times decided to answer this and other questions by sitting down with more than seventy CEOs and asking them how they do their jobs and the most important lessons they learned as they rose through the ranks. Over the course of extraordinary interviews, they shared memorable stories and eye-opening insights.

The Corner Office draws together lessons from chief executives such as Steve Ballmer (Microsoft), Carol Bartz (Yahoo), Jeffrey Katzenberg (DreamWorks), and Alan Mulally (Ford), from which Bryant has crafted an original work that reveals the keys to success in the business world, including the five essential personality traits that all high performers exhibit—qualities that the CEOs themselves value most and that separate the rising stars from their colleagues. Bryant also demystifies the art of leadership and shows how executives at the top of their game get the most out of others.

Leadership is not a one-size-fits-all skill, and these CEOs offer different perspectives that will help anyone who seeks to be a more effective leader and employee. For aspiring executives—of all ages—The Corner Office offers a path to future success.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:22 -0400)

The "Corner Office" columnist and head of a Pulitzer Prize-winning national reporting team draws on the insights of such leading CEOs as Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, Yahoo's Carol Bartz, and DreamWorks's Jeffrey Katzenberg to identify proven leadership principles as well as the qualities that CEOs most value in their employees.… (more)

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