Study Finds Bold Career Moves Lead to Becoming CEO Faster

Mark Hostutler

A 10-year study has found that having a perfect education and avoiding risky moves while climbing the corporate ladder is not the fastest way to becoming CEO, write Elena Lytkina Botelho, Kim Rosenkoetter Powell, and Nicole Wong for the Harvard Business Review.

Instead, bold career moves are the surest way to get to there.

The CEO Genome Project used data from more than 17,000 C-suite executive assessments to determine who gets to the top and how. The research discovered that there were three types of career catapults that help executives build key traits like decisiveness, reliability, and adaptability.

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The most effective was to move backward or laterally to get ahead. This often means starting something new in your company, working for a smaller company in a position with more responsibilities, or starting your own business.

More than one-third of CEOs got to their position by making a big leap and accepting positions that they were not fully prepared for. Another was proving their mettle by inheriting a troubled situation.

Read more about the study in the Harvard Business Review by clicking here.

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