business news in context, analysis with attitude

For the last 10 years, the New York Times has each Sunday featured a column called “Corner Office” in its Sunday Business section. Written by Adam Bryant, more than 525 columns have focused not just on competition, growth and economic issues, but also on larger, more expansive issues of leadership.

Yesterday, Bryant offered thoughts about all of these CEOs - the things that they seem to have in common, but also the things that separate them and make them different in terms of approach and perspective.

It is absolutely worth reading here, but there are three things that Bryant believes serve as a kind of connective tissue among his interview subjects - a kind of “applied curiosity” that makes them question everything, and a desire to embrace challenges because “discomfort is their comfort zone.”

And, finally, there has been a tendency throughout their careers to do their current job well, rather than constantly angling for the next job.

“That doesn’t mean keeping ambition in check,” Bryant writes. “By all means, have career goals, share them with your bosses, and learn everything you can about how the broader business works. And yes, be savvy about company politics (watch out in particular for the show ponies who try to take credit for everything). But focus on building a track record of success, and people will keep betting on you.”

This is a terrific column that is must reading each week … and this compendium is a great summation.
KC's View:
When you read the story, don’t miss the hiring anecdote from Bill Green, then the CEO of Accenture … it is about character, a work ethic, and how sometimes and traditional metrics don’t matter.