A man must never ask a woman for dating advice, or a CEO for leadership strategies. Both groups give notoriously bad advice, as it's colored by self-interest and rationalization. Why do women who date assholes tell you to bring flowers on the first date? Why do men who steal money from companies tell you to be honest and hard working? Think deeply, and the answers will appear.
Take CEO's for example. In a new book, "The Corner Office: Indispensable and Unexpected Lessons From CEOs on How to Lead and Succeed," the author asks CEO's for career advice.
IMAGINE 100 people working at a large company. They’re all middle managers, around 35 years old. They’re all smart. All collegial. All hard-working. They all have positive attitudes. They’re all good communicators.
So what will determine who gets the next promotion, and the one after that? Which of them, when the time comes, will get that corner office?
In other words, what does it take to lead an organization — whether it’s a sports team, a nonprofit, a start-up or a multinational corporation? What are the X factors?
What do you suppose a CEO will say?
Will the CEO say, "Be tall"? That's true:
The heads of big companies are, as I'm sure comes as no surprise to anyone, overwhelmingly white men, which undoubtedly reflects some kind of implicit bias. But they are also virtually all tall: In my sample, I found that on average CEOs were just a shade under six feet. Given that the average American male is 5'9" that means that CEOs, as a group, have about three inches on the rest of their sex.
Or to wear platform shoes? That'd also be a useful tip:
Le Gourmet Gift Basket CEO Cynthia McKay wears 3-inch heels even though she's 5-foot-9 in bare feet.
Will a CEO say, "I have the business ethics of a convicted felon, and I betrayed everyone I told that I loved"? Well, that's the truth:
When it comes to ethical standards, convicts and MBA students rate about even, says a Ball State University researcher.A survey of a group of convicts found their ethical standards compare favorably to those of MBA students. But, when it comes to loyalty, convicted felons may have the edge, said Shaheen Borna, a marketing professor.
Will a CEO say, "A man who sold bagels on the honor system - the so-called Bagel Man - had to stop delivering bagels to the Executive Suite, as we all stole from him"? Well, that's also true:
He also says he believes that employees further up the corporate ladder cheat more than those down below. He reached this conclusion in part after delivering for years to one company spread out over three floors -- an executive floor on top and two lower floors with sales, service and administrative employees. Maybe, he says, the executives stole bagels out of a sense of entitlement. (Or maybe cheating is how they got to be executives.)
Nah, the CEO's didn't share any truths. Instead, they gave the usual platitudes, which Associates Mind discusses here.