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The Corner Office: Indispensable and Unexpected Lessons from CEOs on How to Lead and Succeed
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The Corner Office: Indispensable and Unexpected Lessons from CEOs on How to Lead and Succeed

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  384 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews

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 mos

Hardcover, 272 pages
Published April 12th 2011 by Times Books (first published March 31st 2011)
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Oct 22, 2013 Lorraine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-my-copy
I really liked this book. It is divided into 3 parts and it goes into detail about what CEO's of some of the world's greatest companies had to say about attitudes in the workplace, leading, following and coaching.

Very insightful read and I had to put it down a couple of times to do a bit of introspection. The bit on delegation was powerful for me because I tend to micromanage tasks and people to the point of exhaustion. It made me think real hard about my teammates as well as my personal leaders
Aug 25, 2014 Katie rated it did not like it
Eye-rolling, sycophantic book containing interviews with CEOs about various topics such as leadership, innovation, communication, and management.

I just couldn't really take it seriously--it was entirely too worshipful of these CEOs (many of whom do come off as megalomaniacs, as I would expect).
Oct 02, 2016 Geof rated it liked it
This is a book review I would like to see Barbara Ehrenreich write! I enjoy her caustic and humorous voice. She has so much empathy for working people, I wonder what she would make of the go-getters who aspire to lead them.

As a citizen of the white-collar world, I read this book with mixed feelings. One passage on page 127 is illustrative of why. Terry Lundgren of Macy's asks people, "Where is your attitude on a one-to-ten scale? I want them to be honest with their answer, but it better be high.
Michelle Despres
Jun 25, 2014 Michelle Despres rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, business
This book is great for what it's supposed to be. (The blurb is one you can trust, which is refreshing. The title is accurate too!)

The content is generated from interviews with CEOs, whether directly quoted or summarized. The author didn't intrude at all. There was nothing gimmicky or hyperbolic or condescending.

The book begins with interesting discussions of five characteristics that seem to be common to workers who excel. The chapter on simple mindsets would benefit many.

Those discussions are
May 23, 2013 Carol rated it really liked it
I thought the most interesting part of this book was the first, in which deputy New York Times editor Adam Bryant interviewed top CEOs about the qualities they needed to succeed. There were five: passionate curiosity, battle-hardened confidence, fearlessness, team smarts, and a simple mindset.
This part of the book was followed by a section on managing and one on leading, also based on talks with CEOs. There was some good advice on running meetings. Another interesting section was on what it is l
Penny Luo
May 10, 2014 Penny Luo rated it really liked it
A great collection of lessons gathered from CEOs that gives lots of insights on how to lead and succeed. Some of the topics this book touches upon include employee relationships, time management, the importance of feedback, how to stay mission focused, and how to create an healthy and efficient corporate culture. I find this book not only helpful to managers but also employees from the bottom who often might be frustrated with why certain top-down decisions are made. Have you ever been in ...more
Josh Steimle
Oct 31, 2011 Josh Steimle rated it liked it
I enjoyed the book, although I wouldn't say it was earth-shattering. But it was good general advice from experienced business managers. Where I would say it falls a bit short is that it seemed short generally (I was surprised when I got to the end that it was over), and that there wasn't a wider selection of CEOs interviewed. I felt that the CEOs selected represented the old guard of business more than the new breed of CEOs. While human nature doesn't change from one generation to another, a lot ...more
Magdalene Lim
Jul 08, 2015 Magdalene Lim rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable read, one that you can breeze right through cos' of the chock-full of anecdotes used to illustrate the different pieces of advice offered by the leaders. "It's not possible for the CEO to know everything, but it is possible for us to add value to literally everything... By asking the right questions, you get to the heart of the issue right away, " says Huang of Nvidia. And ask interesting questions, this book does. I would often pause and think of what answers I would give.

Dec 23, 2013 Linda rated it really liked it
Adam Bryant's column is the reason I subscribe to the New York Times. He interviews CEOs and other business leaders. Interview subjects share personal experiences and leadership lessons. I recommend this for anyone with a job. This book isn't just for future CEOs or those with leadership ambitions. Getting a boss's perspective will help readers become more mindful of their work environments. The insights are also useful for people wanting to be better workers.
Aug 20, 2011 Leigh rated it it was amazing
I am a huge fan of this column and learn something nearly every week from it. It has great advice from leaders in a variety of industries on what they look for in hiring and performance - and key traits that effective ones possess. It's curation of CEO knowledge over the past decade. It has some surprises and good lessons for anyone. I look forward to applying these questions when I make my next hire.
Apr 15, 2015 Colleen rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Based on Bryant's NY Times column of the same title, The Corner Office offers insight into what it takes to be a CEO.

I'm not a CEO, nor do I have any ambition to become one, but the ideas and experiences about effective management and leadership shared in this book are relevant on the smaller scale as well. Well worth reading for anyone in a management or leadership role, from a retail store manager to the occupant of the corner office.
Jan 03, 2014 Joanne rated it liked it
This book was a nice and easy read. It provided great insight into the different leadership philosophies of some of the head honchos in business. There wasn't anything that was exceptionally mind blowing or new in terms of the stories they shared but it was nice to learn and read about the different experiences the CEOs had that got them to where they are now.
Jan 09, 2012 Chuck rated it did not like it
save your money. Took me forever to finish because every chapter I read sounded the same as previous ones. Not a lot of meat to the CEO insights, comparable to what you would get in freshman management 101.
Jason C.
Aug 25, 2011 Jason C. rated it really liked it
Very good ready. Easy to follow along but very impactful information in regards to leading a team and building a culture. It was very interesting to see the perspective from the Senior Executive level, and how our day to day actions can impact the overall goal. This is a management must read.
Hakan Jackson
Sep 04, 2013 Hakan Jackson rated it really liked it
Did a good job of getting a variety of ideas from different CEOs while highlighting a theme amongst all of them. He doesn't push you into thinking one way is right or another way is wrong, but lets the reader pick up on things that can help build on their own leadership repertoire.
May 18, 2013 JP rated it liked it
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.
Marc Brodeur
Jul 20, 2011 Marc Brodeur rated it it was amazing
Delightful anecdotes and wisdom curated from CEO interview, and organized into a very helpful and educational structure by the author.
May 30, 2012 Kim rated it liked it
Highlights a number of sound ideas to think about. Nothing revolutionary though, most of the content is fairly basic stuff.
Sep 03, 2011 Anna rated it really liked it
I received this book as a gift, and it turned out to be a lot more interesting than I expected. It gave me some good reminders and food for thought.
Dec 20, 2012 Moses rated it really liked it
Some insightful tips in the first half of the book, then it got a little dry besides the chapter on how to foster company culture.
Jul 31, 2011 Frank rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Filled with insightful wisdom from successful CEOs. Great suggestions for those in leadership postions.
Robert Chapman
Oct 22, 2013 Robert Chapman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership, business
A good book on what many CEOs (a lot from modern companies) have learned about leadership. Sort of like Good to Great, but without the stats and more modern.
Sarthak Garg
Jan 07, 2016 Sarthak Garg rated it it was amazing
Quite a Brilliant piece! contains Insights from some of the biggest minds! Breaks down the CEO as a person who's constantly in pursuit for more with never ceasing application!
Nov 05, 2011 Kylysquirrel rated it really liked it
Really fun read and valuable for anyone who supervises; and like me, wants to stop managing and instead lead them to be successful.
Uwe Hook
Sep 03, 2011 Uwe Hook rated it liked it
Didn't do that much for me. You can do better by following some leadership/management blogs. Scan it, don't read it.
Dan Graham
Dan Graham rated it did not like it
Jul 15, 2012
Kristina rated it liked it
Jul 08, 2015
Michael Chang
Michael Chang rated it it was amazing
May 24, 2015
Cynthia Brown
Cynthia Brown rated it really liked it
Nov 30, 2016
Christian Talbot
Mar 18, 2014 Christian Talbot rated it it was amazing
Pure gold. A must-read for anyone in a management and/or leadership position.
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Adam Bryant, the deputy national editor of The New York Times, has been a journalist for more than two decades. He was a business reporter for The New York Times during the 1990s, covering a variety of industries and topics, including airlines, aviation safety, executive compensation and corporate governance. He joined Newsweek in 1999 as a senior writer, and was promoted to business editor. ...more
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“People leave companies for two reasons. One, they don't feel appreciated. And two, they don't get along with their boss.” 4 likes
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