What the CEO Wants You to Know: Using Your Business Acumen to Understand How Your Company Really Works
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What the CEO Wants You to Know: Using Your Business Acumen to Understand How Your Company Really Works

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  486 ratings  ·  42 reviews
The universal laws of business success . . . no matter whether you are selling fruit from a stand or running a Fortune 500 company.

Have you ever noticed that the business savvy of the world's best CEOs seems like a kind of street smarts? They sense where the opportunities are and how to take advantage of them. And their companies make money consistently, year after year.

Hardcover, 144 pages
Published February 13th 2001 by Crown Business (first published 2001)
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Leah Macvie
This was a pretty good book. Unlike other feedback, I did enjoy reading it. I was in an interesting position at the time at a college that was run as a business. This book helped me understand my role in the college. I realized that I wasn't a good fit for my position because I didn't have much say in the global picture, and I wanted to. I had to move on. I've taken the tools I've learned in this book and applied them to my current position. I now have a say in the global picture, and I am very...more
Newell Starks
If there is one book which any non-business person or new business person should read, this is it. As a person who has invested in companies for over 30-years and been on numerous boards for over 20, it is incomprehensible why others rate this less than a 5 star.

The facts are that business is, at a very fundamental level (similar to sports), quite simple, which most people fail to comprehend. At another level, it can appear quite complex. The difficulty which most people have is that they get c...more
Scott Sinks
Do you know how money works? Do you know how the most successful people on the planet manage their business? do you know what business acumen is and how it works? Do you ever feel like the path to becoming rich seems like street smarts?

"What the CEO wants you to know" written by Ram Charan, explains everything you need to know about running a successful business as simply as it can be explained. Charan, repedively compares running a big business or corporation to running a small fruit stand from...more
Ram Charan, a prominent business consultant, examines the functions of business by examining his own family's business in India. He explores the decision-making processes any CEO must use, looking at key issues such as profit margin, customer service, product turnover, and the like. He argues that though the companies may differ in size and other relatively superficial attributes, the functions and principles of doing business successfully are the same. Charan argues that successful CEO's and bu...more
Jun 29, 2008 Shana rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Shana by: My husband
My husband recommended this book to me while I was working full time as a Credit Director at a national office furniture manufacturer. At the time, the information contained was pertinent and practical. It's not fun to read by any means and for those of you who have shared in one too many executive "go get 'em" meetings....well, some of this might be passe to you. Nonetheless, it's advice worth repeating and driving home the fact that we always have the choice and the gift of choice to excel at...more
David Robins
Unlike Execution, which contained a lot of extraneous material, What the CEO Wants You To Know gets right to the point. I was a bit confused by the title, but read it on a recommendation: it is simply what a CEO wants a person working for him, especially a manager, to know about business in general and their business in particular: margin, velocity, turnover, ROE/ROI/ROA, and so on, as well as how to fit people to roles and grow social operating mechanisms.
Apr 19, 2010 Travis rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in "getting" business
This is the single best general business primer I have had the good fortune to read. Also the best of Charan's books. Bless him for not holding out or stringing folks along - this book stands alone and in sharp contrast to gimmicky business advice books. A triumph of clarity. Just excellent.
Jered Skousen
If you want to move into the executive suite (or just be a better employee), this book gives some great insight.
It is a short read (120 pages), and the first half is better information. The last half is some examples, and it is a little thin.
Jesse Winslow
Loved this book. I've never been a business guy, I've always been a people guy. This book finally tied together some ideas I had about the way business works in a very easy to understand and concise manner.
Oct 16, 2011 David rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those interested in running a business or want to know what is important in running a business
Recommended to David by: Dr Barkett
All of us should be aware of how a business operates. Ram provides some insites into what measures are important to watch and the business acumen to make judgemetn on those measures.
Theron Hatch
This is a great book for someone interested in a quick understanding of business and leadership. Simple examples that anyone can grasp.
Abdul Koya
My manager gave me this book to read. This is the only Ram Charan book that gave me valuable insight. Highly recommended.
Caveat "Margin X Velocity = Making Profit". I would highly encourage people who just entered the workforce to read this book.
This is a good primer, or re-education, for analyzing any business regardless of your position in the company.
Great book that decomposes large corporations to discover what really matters: how they make money
This book was included in my book: The 100 Best Business Books of All Time. www.100bestbiz.com
Dan Ross
Simple lessons. Easy to read. Great if you don't have an MBA
Subramanian Sankaran
Simple, gentle and highly insightful look into leadership

Lokesh Joshi
Must read for team leaders and entrepreneurs !
Vishnu Jaju
A must-read book for all you business folks!
Madeline Boughner
This books includes the very basic aspects of business, I prefer reading Dale Carnegie's in depth business books. With Dale you feel like you are learning things other than common sense. This book could have been a lot shorter if redundant phrases were cut out.
Alexander Vineyard

This one doesn't just go over general ideas or concepts, it gives you specific tools that you can put into action right away. It's useful both for CEOs, mid-level managers and producers alike.
Satish Telsang
Good book. Gives us idea as to what the CEO always looks for ..profitablity, growth, asset turn over (inventory)...share holders etc.
easy to read and fun to share
The information is relevant but honestly this could have been a magazine article and not a 125 page book. It was quite dry reading.
Part one was not interesting for me. Part two was much better and part three was fine. I think it is definitely a good book for anyone with little basic business knowledge. It's a good reminder for those already in business, especially knowing how to use your people in the right way. I've lived that life a couple of times to know how hard it is. :-)
I recommend it for people looking for some advice in how to run a well-run business.
Lamech Mariita
I found the book very informative and quick to read. After reading the book, concepts like ROA, asset velocity, and inventory control have become more clearly defined in my mind. The book brings together a lot of the basic factors that affect a business operation. It builds a framework for
those just starting out in any business and it reminds those with experience that it all still comes down to the basics.
This is a very nice book on some key fundamentals. I enjoyed the way the formulas were presented. I'll using them in my factory this week. I recommend this book to those people returning to this field work.
This was a great basic but thorough business book. I liked that it was positive and directly challenges the reader to take part in his/her own company by learning the 'universal language of business.'
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