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Before I Was CEO

Book Description

Have you always known what you wanted to be in life?

What are some “watershed moments” that made you who you are?

When did you get on track to become a successful CEO?

It started with three questions at Davos. The younger Peter Vanham looked to the answers from the elite leaders he asked to validate his own career choice, and the rich, private wisdom he received revealed more about building a career than he’d found anywhere else. He shares it all with you in Before I Was CEO.

For everyone who lays awake at night wondering if they’re heading up or down the corporate ladder, this collection of personal stories from a remarkable group of the most accomplished men and women in business today proves everyone can put themselves in the C-suite by taking a variety of different paths—it’s all how you do it. Some found opportunity through adversity and others came by their big-break moments through serendipity. A group of them walked away from corporate life and lived in other ways and all of them made calculated moves to advance their careers. In their own words, read how it all unfolded, the tough decisions they wrestled, the risks and rewards they saw, and how it all came together. You don’t need a royal pedigree or Ivy League education to reach the top as long as you:

• Value family, leave home, and make informed decisions based on your dreams

• Take the first thirty-five years of your life to discover what you’re interested in and don’t rush to be a CEO

 • Strategically deal with failure, remember the lessons you learned, and adapt to situations you can’t change

You aren’t the first person to be at the crossroads you’re standing in, and with the motivating and instructive stories in Before I Was CEO, you may be answering a young journalist’s questions at Davos one day.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Foreword
    1. Learning to Lead from those who have LED
  6. Introduction
  7. Part I: Adversity
    1. Chapter 1: Finding True North
      1. The Story of Orit Gadiesh, Bain & Company
      2. The Story of David Kenny, IBM
      3. Lessons Learned
      4. Endnotes
    2. Chapter 2: The Dot-Com Crisis
      1. The Story of Kris Gopalakrishnan, Infosys
      2. The Story of David Kenny, IBM (cont’d)
      3. The Story of Raf Keustermans, Plumbee
      4. The Unraveling & Lessons Learned
  8. Part II: Opportunities
    1. Chapter 3: Living the American Dream
      1. The Story of Alberto Vitale, Random House
      2. Lesson Learned
      3. Endnotes
    2. Chapter 4: Serendipity
      1. The Story of Geoffrey Garrett, The Wharton School
      2. The Story of Peter Henry, NYU Stern
      3. Lessons Learned
      4. Endnotes
  9. Part III: Off the Beaten Track
    1. Chapter 5: A Shining Path
      1. The Story of Paul Bulcke, Nestle
      2. Lessons Learned
    2. Chapter 6: Brewing in the Brousse
      1. The Story of Jean-Francois van Boxmeer, Heineken
      2. Lessons Learned
      3. Endnotes
  10. Part IV: Breaking Free and Coming Home
    1. Chapter 7: Breaking Free
      1. The Story of Rick Goings, Tupperware Brands
      2. The Story of Susan Cameron, Reynolds American Inc.
      3. Lessons Learned
      4. Endnotes
    2. Chapter 8: Coming Home
      1. The Story of Barry Salzberg, Deloitte
      2. The Story of Johan Aurik, A.T. Kearney
      3. The Story of Steve Davis, PATH
      4. Lessons Learned
      5. Endnotes
  11. Part V: Role Models
    1. Chapter 9: Father's Footsteps
      1. The Story of Richard Edelman, Edelman
      2. The Story of Andrew Likierman, London Business School
      3. The Story of Chris Burggraeve, Vicomte 165
      4. Lessons Learned
      5. Endnotes
    2. Chapter 10: Practical Advice: The Stories of Gail McGovern and Patrick De Maeseneire
      1. The Story of Gail McGovern, American Red Cross
      2. The Story of Patrick De Maeseneire, Jacobs Holding
    3. Conclusions
      1. What They Didn’t Need
      2. Building a Career from Interests
      3. Climbing the Ladder
      4. Learning to Deal with Failure
      5. Leaving Home
      6. Making Informed Choices
      7. Valuing the Importance of Family
      8. Surfing the Waves of History
      9. Setting Aside Your CEO Ambitions
      10. Remembering Lessons Learned
      11. Endnote
  12. About the Author
  13. Acknowledgments
  14. Index
  15. End User License Agreement