We believe the best way to learn how to lead at the top—whether in the boardroom or the executive suite—is to engage directly in it. Nothing, in our estimation, is as effective a learning experience as taking personal responsibility for a company’s performance and fate.

For those hoping to reach that apex but not quite yet there, additional learning avenues can also be fruitful. One path is to seek out personal time with those who have so served. Mentoring by experienced executives and directors can provide development insights that are nuanced, personal, and indelible. Another path is to absorb what has been written by those who have observed, analyzed, or occupied the top of the pyramid. ...

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