“I look at most CEOs,” said Rick Goings, the Chairman and CEO of Tupperware Brands. “And I see that two-thirds of them come from the traditional track. They went to the right college, the right graduate school; and then follow the traditional track in a company. And at some point in time, they earn the top spot.”
“It's remarkable, but unremarkable,” Goings said, sipping from a glass of white wine in the hotel bar where we agreed to meet—a typical Swiss Alps hotel in Davos, wooden architecture included. “‘I went to Harvard Business School. I went to Bain. I went into an industry. And then I became CEO.’ It's a path that's produced many of the world's greatest CEOs and many of those whom I respect most have followed, but it's not a storyline that will turn your head,” Goings continued.
He was blunt, but he had a point. Some of the CEOs I profiled in the first part of this book were almost exactly the way he described, at least on paper: Orit Gadiesh, David Kenny, Alberto Vitale—their CV certainly fit Goings's description. They did, of course, have their challenges along the way, and it was amazing to hear how they dealt with those challenges. But it remained true that by the time they were 25, they were already on a track most of us can't even get on anymore: the track of top business school graduates.
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