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How to make it to the corner office

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Many organizations like their chief execs to come up through the president and chief operating officer positions.

But executive recruiter Gerry Roche (Heidrick & Struggles) sees some flawed thinking there. A good CEO is like a ship’s captain, focused on vision and planning, while the president’s and operating officer’s jobs are focused on doing.

“These are opposite talents,” Roche says. So, make sure your experience contains both line and staff responsibilities that give you breadth.

— Adapted from “Tips for the CEO Candidate,” Lauren Keller Johnson, HBS Working Knowledge,

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