Wednesday, February 18, 2009

There's No Elevator to the Top by Umesh Ramakrishnan

There's No Elevator to the Top A Leading Headhunter Shares the Advancement Strategies of the World's Most Successful Executives by Umesh Ramakrishnan Vice Chairman of CTPartners

This book is about the process of becoming a successful CEO. The book is international in scope. It gets stories and anecdotes from CEOs from all over the world; Steve Reinemunde of Pepsico, Lucas Chow of MediaCorp Group, Nadia Zaal of Al Barari, Javier Gutierrez of Ecopetrol, and many other international CEOs.

The book takes the view that we live in an international world. It is necessary for a CEO to travel and live in the countries which they operate in. Mr. Ramakrishnan calls the search for talent, worldsourcing.

Unlike most books on CEOs, there are very nice sections on family, interests, and health. It is suggested that regular sleep, exercise, and strong family support are necessary to run a company. It is very easy to burnout in the position as chief. People should have at least two outside interests. This can be as simple as reading and golf.

There are a lot of tips on networking and advancing ones career. The point of networking in this book is not to advance ones career but to get more done on the job. People who network to be more effective on their current job are more likely to have their contacts help them. It is not good to be too comfortable in a job. It is as important to make lateral moves inside a company as it is to move upward. Manage up, down, and sideways or you will never move up inside a company.

There are also ideas on how to succeed as CEO. You are not #1, the company is. When you reach the top, you cannot rest, your job is to improve the place you work for.

On a personal level, this book made me realize that there are always sacrifices in time, family, and committments when you move up in position in any job. More responsibility brings more stress and requires you to pay closer attention to your health and family. At the same time, this book gave me some ideas on how to better manage my own career. I found the book both useful and entertaining.

Umesh Ramakrishnan is the Vice Chairman of CT Partners, a global executive recruitment firm that recruits CEOs, directors, and senior management positions. This book has a website at


Anonymous said...

I've read this too and it is one of the better business books out there.

Book Calendar said...

Thanks for the comment.

Forgetful Librarian said...

I found you on the Book Carnival hosted by Bookish Ruth. I am a librarian as well and just started a blog. Your site is great! I will be back to visit.