Advice | October 27, 2017 11:17 am

Learn How to Be A CEO Through Advice From 525 Of Them

Adam Bryant writes his final Corner Office column for the New York Times.

So you want to be a CEO? Well, Adam Bryant from The New York Times has some suggestions on how to get there. Bryant has been writing the Corner Office column for nearly a decade. He wrote a total of 525 columns, and in doing so, spoke to hundreds of CEOs about all things big and small. So for his final column, he put together some valuable lessons and standout stories.

First off, CEOs share a mindset that Bryant describes as “applied curiosity.” This means that they tend to question everything. They want to know how something works, but they also want to know how it can work better. They’re curious about people, but also about their backstory. Bryant says that they also don’t tend to wonder if they are on the right career path, but instead, the make the “most of whatever path they’re on,” and always take away lessons from whatever they’re doing.

CEOs also seem to love a challenge, Bryant writes. Their comfort zone is actually just discomfort.

“Usually, I really like whatever the problem is. I like to get close to the fire,” said Arkadi Kuhlmann, a veteran banking chief, to The New York Times. “Some people have a desire for that, I’ve noticed, and some people don’t. I just naturally gravitate to the fire. So I think that’s a characteristic that you have, that’s in your DNA.”

Finally, CEOs focus on doing their current job well, which leads to promotions. All CEOs manage their own careers on their way to the top. Many people are more concerned about the “job they want than the job they’re doing,” Bryant writes. He doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have ambition, and make them clear, but also build a track record of success, so that people keep “betting on you.” Be open to opportunities that help you climb the ladder.