From Day One: CEO Advice to Launch an Extraordinary Career

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9780132206860: From Day One: CEO Advice to Launch an Extraordinary Career

In FROM DAY ONE, long-time CEO Bill White reveals the key skills that lead to breakthrough success, and helps integrate them into your repertoire as you manage your career for outstanding results. Discover how to identify the best possible first job, first company, first boss... and get them. Walk in at 9 am on your first day, knowing exactly what it takes to succeed. Leverage the experience of world-class executives and benefit from practical tips about everything from "managing your boss" to networking; learn how to make a superb first impression;  set the best priorities for your first day, week, month; uncover unspoken "local knowledge" about success; make the most of feedback; demonstrate potential without overstepping bounds; strengthen crucial skills, from listening to estimating and forecasting. This is practical, realistic advice straight from the "corner office".

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About the Author:

William J. White is currently a Professor at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University. He was named 2001 Professor of the Year and received the 2004 Northwestern Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award.

Prior to joining Northwestern, White served for eight years as Chairman and CEO of Bell & Howell, where he was responsible for stewarding corporate resources, values, and talent. White also served as a senior executive at Mead and other successful firms. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of seven publicly traded companies, including The Reader's Digest Association, Bell & Howell Company, and Packaging Dynamics Corporation. www.FromDayOne.com


© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

From Day One: Success Secrets for Starting Your Career

From Day One: Success Secrets for Starting Your Career

Foreword by Ram Charan

As a young person, you are entering a world that will always change. Some young people have courage, stamina, and the temperament to do more than just accept the change. They lead the change. They have an insatiable appetite to learn what is happening, to seek new ideas, to look at the world from a historical perspective, and to talk to people who have learned from history. They distill wisdom and learn what not to do. They recognize what lies ahead and what will demand the best of their mental faculties and behaviors—knowing that their actions will inspire others.

If you are a young person who believes in the future, who believes in personal growth, who has the humility to learn, this book is for you.

I have known Bill White for a long time. Throughout his life, his values have served him very well. At Harvard, he sought out instructors who had wisdom, built character, and shared experiences. Professor Georges Doriot was one of those instructors. He was legendary. He helped build the character of many CEOs. Remember, no young person knows everything: What they do not know, they learn from people with wisdom. At Harvard, Bill was one of those people. In the early days of his career, he went "where the action is," which was on the ground floor. He built up his life and career from there. What Bill accomplished for himself was not what mattered most to him. Rather, it was helping others accomplish their goals and beyond, and rejoicing in their success, that has always been of utmost importance to Bill. If these qualities resonate with you, then you've picked up the right book.

Every single day is the first step of the next portion of your life. Be a marathon player, not a sprinter. Have the temperament, stamina, and patience to know when to make a change and when to remain the same. Bill provides a stellar example for living this life.

This is a small book. Read it carefully. Discuss it with your colleagues. Internalize the gems that it holds. Remember the importance of doing good. How you live will contribute to your generation. True success is achieving both your ambitions and your happiness—find the balance. The world needs you.

Ram Charan, Charan Associates business advisor, speaker, and author of several bestselling books, including Confronting Reality and Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done, as well as several other books

Foreword by Walter Isaacson

Many people starting a new career focus on one thing: how to get ahead. Later in their careers, they learn the importance of other goals, such as making a contribution, upholding values, and pursuing a passion that they find meaningful.

Throughout his distinguished career as a major business executive, professor, and corporate board leader, Bill White has developed a crucial leadership insight that is valuable for aspiring young people as they start their careers—and also for the business community and world at large. Bill knows that goals and values are an integral component of being truly successful.

To the extent that you focus on making a contribution rather than getting ahead, you will rise naturally in a company. Your success will be seen as based on merit and worth. Your company and colleagues will all benefit from your rise, and they will be eager to help someone they perceive as helpful to others.

In the previous generation, some saw ruthlessness and greed as being methods for getting ahead. We all saw where that led and what it did to corporate America.

In today's business world a premium is placed on values—and rightly so. Corporations treasure integrity and credibility, and will promote the people they trust and who can guard their corporate values.

Your personal ethics are reflected, and shaped, by the dozens of little decisions you make each day. What this book shows is why it is so important these days to get this aspect of your career right.

The natural temptation for ambitious young workers is to look at a situation and say, "What can I get out of it?" True success, however, comes from knowing how to lead by serving. When you serve the larger goals of your organization, the people around you, and the greater good of your society, you are more likely to get ahead and build a fulfilling, rewarding career.

Benjamin Franklin, the patron saint of self-improvement books, coined the maxim "doing well by doing good" in his Poor Richard's Almanac. Now, in this wonderfully readable book, Bill White shows, step-by-step, how you can indeed truly do well in your career by doing good in this world.

Walter Isaacson, author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute, and Former Chairman and CEO of CNN


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