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How to Become CEO: The Rules for Rising to the Top of Any Organization

by Jeffrey J Fox


Always Take the Job That Offers the Most Money

After you have decided what you want to do--whether it is banking, advertising, manufacturing, or something else--go to work for the company that offers you the most money. If you have not decided what kind of career or industry is for you, then take the job that offers the most money. If you are in a corporation, always take the transfer, promotion, or assignment that pays the most money.

There are several important reasons why you go for the money. First, all of your benefits, perquisites, bonuses, and subsequent raises will be based on your salary. Corporations give all extra compensation in percentages. Therefore, a 10 percent raise on a $22,000 salary is $2000 better than the same raise on a $20,000 salary.

Second, the higher paid you are, the more visible to top management you will be.

Third, the more money you are paid, the more contribution will be expected of you. This means you will be given more responsibility, tasks, and problems to solve. And a chance to perform is an invitation to success.

Fourth, if two people are candidates for a promotion to a job that pays $50,000, and one person makes $30,000 and the other $40,000 the higher paid person always gets the job. The higher paid person gets the job regardless of talent, contribution, or anything else. Corporations usually take the easy way out, and it is easier to promote the higher paid than the lower.*

Finally, in business, money is the scoreboard. The more you make, the better you're doing. Simple.

*Promoting the higher paid is the path of no resistance in most organizations. Someone approved the higher paid person's compensation. Others concurred. To leapfrog the higher paid diminishes the sponsor of the higher paid. And the sponsors of the higher paid are, themselves, even higher paid. Promoting the higher paid endorses the wisdom of upper management.

Excerpted from How to Become Ceo : The Rules for Rising to the Top of Any Organization by Jeffrey J. Fox. Copyright 1998. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved


Amazon.com  Editorial Reviews:

Most books about career advancement are either weighty examinationscover about success in the workplace (e.g., How to Be a Star at Work and Working with Emotional Intelligence) or flippant, humorous takes on surviving the countless inanities of modern work life (e.g., Working Wounded). Jeffrey Fox's book, How to Become CEO: The Rules for Rising to the Top of Any Organization is neither. Instead, Fox presents 75 commonsense rules about successfully conducting your career. 

Rules like "Know Everybody by Their First Name" and "No Goals No Glory" may seem obvious; others, such as "Don't Take Work Home from the Office" or "Don't Have a Drink with the Gang" may not. Each is accompanied by page or two of succinct and thought-provoking explanation. For example, for rule 27, "Don't Hide an Elephant," Fox writes, "Big problems always surface. If they have been hidden, even unintentionally, the negative fallout is always worse. The 'hiders' always get burned, regardless of complicity. The 'discoverers' always are safe, regardless of complicity." Wise and to the point, How to Become CEO will help just about anybody's career, whether you want to become CEO or not. --Harry C. Edwards

From Booklist

Fox heads his own marketing consulting company, and he demonstrates here that he knows how to package an idea. While there is nothing especially original about a list of rules for getting ahead, Fox's guide is filled with 75 tips that are short, sweet, and to the point. Moreover, the ideas themselves are fresh. You have to admire the pluck of someone who counsels spending one day a month in the library and recommends sending handwritten notes. For each suggestion, Fox includes one or two pages of elaboration. Other advice: Always take vacations. Always take the job that offers the most money. Never write a nasty memo. Don't take work home from the office. Never let a good boss make a mistake. And, nary a mention of Machiavelli or Sun-Tzu. Refreshing! David Rouse

W. Mason Beekley, Chairman and CEO, Beekley Corporation "This is a must read for those aspiring to become CEOs and for CEOs who want to be better CEOs." --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

David Freeman, CEO, Loctite Corporation "A handbook on good management practices, an encyclopedia for future leaders and a reminder for all managers." --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

Terrance Noonan, President and COO (Ret.), Furon Corporation "Jeffrey truly captures all the essential ingredients necessary to run a company. I wish this had been available when I was beginning my career." --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

Ingram Vision, persistence, integrity, and respect for everyone in the workplace--these are all qualities of successful leaders. But Jeffrey J. Fox, the founder of a marketing consulting company, also gives these tips: never write a nasty memo, skip all office parties, and overpay your people. These are a few of his key ways to climb the corporate ladder.

The author, Jeffrey Fox , July 31, 2000 Jeffrey Fox, July 2000 Hello readers and Amazonians! 

Thank you for your interest in How To Become CEO.

I have been amazed at the interest this book has generated around the world. Despite the title, I have heard from many readers who do not aspire to the CEO job, but simply are looking for ways to get ahead. As one reviewer commented, it should have been titled How To Win Raises and Promotions. I like that! It would have been a great subtitle.

The title comment is insightful. The book was originally untitled. It existed as a collection of private ideas I prepared for my children, friends, and clients. The advice in the book is about how to succeed in an organization, but also about being CEO of your life, or CEO of your job, your classroom, your lathe, your territory, your store, your table, yourself.

The advice is unconventional, but because it is for people I know, the advice is not intended to make people fail. How To Become CEO made the New York Times, Business Week and Wall Street Journal best seller lists. Thousands of readers who bought or were given the book have, in turn, bought it for others. It is now in its 13th U.S. printing and is being published in over twenty languages and available in over 50 countries.

I deeply appreciate the public's response to this little book, and am thrilled by the letters and comments I receive from all over the world. If you are ambitious, How To Become CEO was written for you. All the best of luck to you in your career.

The publisher, Kristan Ginther , December 15, 1998 Climb to the Top of Your Profession If you want to become president or CEO of a corporation, buy a business, start a business, or have a long, fruitful career in a large corporation, How to Become CEO is the essential guide for you. The seventy-five rules written and read by Jeffrey J. Fox--founder of a marketing consulting firm and an MBA graduate of Harvard Business School--are actions you must take, traits you must develop, and things you must avoid in order to succeed. Get the edge in all of your professional pursuits with this practical program. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.