Book Briefs: How to Become CEO by Jeffrey J. Fox

Book Number 11 on my Book-a-Week list for 2011: How to Become CEO: The Rules for Rising to the Top of Any Organization by Jeffrey J. Fox


I know Jeffrey Fox is an incredible talent with amazing experience and credentials. And I know this book is full of practical and useful tips for rising to the top. In fact, it is organized into 75 very short chapters, each with its own tip. While I’m always up for an easy and informative read, and this is one, I can’t say it’s one of my favorite reads. I am fond of stories that help make ideas stick, and this book is almost completely devoid of stories. The chapters are very “do this” “don’t do that” without a lot of connection to actual instances when the doing and not doing were implemented. I find stories make the concepts easier to understand and allow me to more easily see myself in the situation.


That said, a few of the tips were refreshing to find in a CEO guide book, and did make me appreciate the depth of Fox’s wisdom. Some of my favorites included:

  • Do Something Hard and Lonely (like learning a language, getting a certification, etc.)
  • Think for One Hour Every Day (not at home or in the car, but in the office)
  • Organize “One-Line Good-Job” Tours where executives in the company tour your department and share one-line compliments with your team.
  • Go to the Library Once a Month (to get caught up and avoid distractions)
  • Ten Things to Say That Make People Feel Good


Fox has written several other best-sellers as well, including How to Become a Rainmaker, How to Be a Fierce Competitor, and How to Get to the Top, and he clearly has enjoyed huge success. I’ve not read the other books, but I’m now curious about them so will try one soon.

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