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Takeaways from the Book ‘Leadership secrets of the world’s most powerful CEOs’ by Eric Yaverbaum



I recently read the book 'Leadership Secrets of the World's Most Powerful CEOs' by Eric Yaverbaum's. The author in this book interviews top executives and shares what they have to say about leadership philosophies, attitude, tactics, behaviors, and strategies that help their organization become the market leaders. Some of the companies whose executives have been covered are that of Absorbine, 7-Eleven, Domino's Pizza, Grumman, Radio Shack, Staples, and Xerox. Readers can see for themselves which are the tactics most relevant in their daily life.


This book ‘'Leadership Secrets of the World’s Most Powerful CEOs,' has achieved remarkable success, surpassing all expectations with over 500,000 copies sold worldwide within the first year of its release. The book's influence extends beyond print, as it has been featured in 150+ media outlets and reached an audience of over 2 million through interviews, articles, and podcast appearances.


So, if you're ready to unlock the secrets behind remarkable leadership and gain inspiration for your own journey, you're in the right place.


Some of the leadership tactics discussed in the book are:


  1. David A. Brandon, Chairman, and Ceo, Domino’s Pizza - Always aim for the very best and surround yourself with people smarter than you.

Earlier Domino's pizza had a culture of doing a little bit better each year than the previous year. The company felt good about its record of steady same-store sales growth, but while the company was growing a little, some of its competitors were growing a lot.


Mr. Brandon then introduced Domino’s to the Wall Street mentality. It meant they were going to benchmark themselves against the very best in their category and they couldn’t declare victory until they beat them.


2. Hurley Calister Turner, Chairman, Dollar General – My best lessons have come from failures.


Hurley Calister Turner, the Chairman of Dollar General, shares a valuable insight in the book "Leadership Secrets of the World’s Most Powerful CEOs." He believes that his most important lessons have been learned from his failures. Turner's perspective highlights the significance of setbacks and challenges as opportunities for growth and learning. By acknowledging mistakes and setbacks as stepping stones to improvement, leaders can develop resilience, refine their strategies, and ultimately achieve greater success.


3. It’s all about being passionate and intense about what you do — and having fun at the same time - J. Darius Bikoff, Founder And CEO, Energy Brands Inc.


J. Darius Bikoff's advice, highlighted in the book "Leadership Secrets of the World’s Most Powerful CEOs," underscores the importance of blending passion, intensity, and enjoyment in one's pursuits. He believes that a successful approach involves putting your heart and energy into what you do, while also finding joy in the process. Bikoff's insight emphasizes that work doesn't have to be devoid of enjoyment; in fact, infusing fun into your efforts can lead to greater creativity, better results, and a more vibrant work environment.


4. William P. Lauder, COO, Estee Lauder


The COO says that Estee Lauder is a large corporation with 19 brands. He tells his employees that the organizational structure of Lauder is like the hierarchy of life in a pond that they learned about in high school biology. At the bottom are the amoebas. The tadpoles eat the amoebas and are higher up in the hierarchy. The little fish eat the tadpoles. Big fish eat the little fish.


Above the surface of the pond are the flies; the big fish eat the flies too. Our consumers are the flies. Our sales associates are the big fish in our organization’s pond because they represent the brand to the consumers. For the rest of us, our job is to make sure our big fish eat as many flies as possible, by creating powerful brands that attract flies. As the COO, I am the amoeba at the bottom of the pond.


5. Ask questions - Mark Dimassimo, Founder and Creative Chief of DiMassimo Goldstein


Mark DiMassimo points out that asking questions is a smart move for leaders. Instead of just telling others what to do, leaders can learn a lot by asking questions. This approach helps everyone think more deeply, share their thoughts, and talk openly. By asking the right questions, leaders can spark new ideas, challenge old ways of thinking, and create a culture where people feel comfortable sharing their opinions.


When leaders ask questions, they create an environment where everyone can contribute and collaborate, which can lead to better solutions and stronger teamwork.


6. Steven Roberts, President, Edith Roman Associates


Steven Roberts, President of Edith Roman Associates, has a leadership style that's all about helping others learn and shine. He follows the saying "teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime," which means he doesn't just do things for his team, but he shows them how to do things themselves. What's really clever is that he then lets them take the credit for their successes. This builds their skills and confidence, like teaching someone to fish and letting them be proud of their catch. By doing this, Roberts creates a team that's not only skilled but also motivated to do their best.


He says “take somebody who doesn’t know how to do something, show them how to do it and give them credit for it.” In a world where leaders often take the spotlight, Steven Roberts stands out by giving his team the chance to shine.


7. Ask for their best thinking and then really listen - Matt Rubel, Chairman Of The Executive Board MidOcean Partners and Executive Chair Holley


According to Matt Rubel, a strong leader knows to ask their team members for their best ideas and then really pay attention to what they say. This means that leaders don't just come up with all the answers themselves; they make space for their team's thoughts. This approach creates a more open and collaborative workplace, where everyone's opinions are valued.


8. A good leader makes sure he is surrounded by the right people - Gene A. Abbott, CEO of contracting firm Abbott and Associates


Gene A. Abbott's wisdom about leadership, emphasizes a crucial aspect: the value of having the right people around you. Being a strong leader isn't just about what you do yourself, but also about who you have on your team.


Assembling a team of skilled and aligned individuals is a cornerstone of effective leadership. By curating a team that complements one's strengths and fills in the gaps, a leader can navigate challenges more adeptly, foster innovation, and create an environment conducive to sustained success.


9. Archie W. Dunham, the Chairman of ConocoPhillips, shares a valuable lesson he learned during his time in the United States Marine Corps. He calls it the 5 P's: Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. This simple idea emphasizes the importance of preparation in leadership. Whether in the military or in business, Dunham believes that getting ready beforehand is crucial. He recalls his early days as a young lieutenant when he would jot down every mistake and note areas for improvement in a notebook. This practice of self-reflection and learning from errors shaped his leadership approach. Even today, Dunham sticks to these strategies, ensuring he's always fully prepared for meetings and challenges ahead.


Through the lens of remarkable CEOs and backed by research and real-world examples, this book encapsulates the essence of effective leadership – from fostering human connections to cultivating self-awareness, embracing values, and learning from failures. As we wrap up this exploration, remember that leadership is not confined to the corner office; it's a journey that anyone can embark upon. So, whether you're a budding entrepreneur, a team leader, or simply someone eager to enhance your leadership skills, the invaluable lessons from this book provide a compass to guide you toward a path of growth and impact. Thank you for joining me on this enlightening journey. Don't forget to like, subscribe, and hit that notification bell for more enriching content. Until next time, keep leading and inspiring!


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