New Summary Available for How I Did It.

Acquiring a business degree can be a very important part of preparing to take a seat at the CEO desk. Colleges and universities have developed comprehensive programs to prepare aspiring executives for the responsibilities they will face. However, the higher up in the ranks executives go, the more complicated their responsibilities become. Executive decisions often require critical thinking that no curriculum could anticipate. Executives, like everyone else, do a lot of learning by experience, part of which includes is learning from the experiences of others. In How I Did It, a collection of essays written by top executives is presented that provides wisdom and insights from the executive halls of a variety of industries outlining a variety of common business situations and decisions, giving detail from the perspectives of those who have experienced these situations.

There are several universal principles for executives to consider when making business decisions:

  • People are companies’ most valuable assets. The best business strategies will fail without the right people to execute them. Selecting and nurturing winning teams should be a top priority for every executive.
  • Companies are made or broken by their cultures. High-performing, empowered employees who are engaged in their roles are essential for companies to succeed. Demoralized employees who feel undervalued contribute to companies’ failures. Whether cultures are thriving or faltering, CEOs have the responsibility to create and maintain company cultures that allow the people and businesses to flourish.
  • Even the strongest brands can be vulnerable. Despite major investments in building and maintaining companies’ reputations, they can be tarnished at a moment’s notice. Executives must be prepared to “tell the right stories” about the companies both in stable times and under crisis.
  • Global expansion can present unique challenges but the benefits are worth the extra effort. Going global to grow businesses is very different from expanding locally. Bureaucracy, language barriers, and cultural customs can prove to be significant barriers. However, new ways of thinking and creative business models can result in significantly increased profits from new markets.
  • The decision to do a deal can carry very high stakes. Whether it is an IPO, a company sale, or an acquisition, seeing deals through to successful closure can be one of the most grueling tasks executives undertake. Advance preparation and planning are essential, but will not guarantee success. Good deals require quick thinking, creative solutions, and luck.
  • Strategy is not a static entity. The strongest companies are those that can consistently maintain their core values while executing strategies that are flexible enough to adapt to market conditions.

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