Most CEOs reach the chief executive office an average of 24 years after starting their first job. But, there’s one sub-segment of CEOs who get there dramatically faster. They’re called “CEO Sprinters” according to the CEO Genome Project, a 10 year study that looked at over 17K chief executives.
“We discovered a striking finding: Sprinters don’t accelerate to the top by acquiring the perfect pedigree. They do it by making bold career moves over the course of their career that catapult them to the top.”
In the tech world, we read about these “CEO Sprinters” all the time. They choose the right high-growth startup at the right time, land the highest profile projects, get an impressive assortment of quick wins under their belt, and climb the career ladder at lightspeed, leapfrogging their peers along the way. Think Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer, to name a few.
We hear about what they’ve accomplished (at such a young age no less!) and naturally want to know - what sets them apart? What do they do differently from everyone else? Do they work harder? Smarter? Faster?
And... what about me? Do I have what it takes? Could I have a shot at the C-Suite?
After reading about, studying, and talking with many of these career phenoms, I’ve found one dominant thread that sets them apart - each and every one operates by their own set of principles and values that guide their decision making.
In my quest to uncover the unique principles of as many of these trailblazers as possible, I recently spoke with Nate Moch, Zillow’s VP of Product and Growth, and an active member of the Reforge Collective of growth leaders.