Friday, April 19, 2013

Lessons in leadership from an accidental CEO.


One of my favorite quotes is in Tom Peters' book, Re-imagine"If you don't like change, you'll like irrelevance even less."  This quote always serves to remind me that life, let alone our careers, is a journey of learning and growth.

Today I was invited to give a talk on leadership to the Executive MBA program at the University of California Irvine's Merage School of Business.

My lessons in leadership are a work in progress.  They are skills I've learned through trial and a lot of error; skills that I'm constantly refining; skills that I hope will inspire these Merage students to develop a style that is tailored to their unique talents and personalities.

I often refer to my self as the "accidental CEO" because I never set as a goal occupying the top box on the org chart.  Instead, my goal has always been to take on new challenges and to keep learning and growing.  Years ago, when I was President of Y&R in Southern California, a friend of mine shared with me this quote:  "Those on top of the mountain didn't fall there."  I've kept this on my desk for the past seven years as a reminder that the harder I work the luckier I get.



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