Sri Lankan born Sabrina Ghouse in her newly released, thought-provoking book ‘Built to be CEO, A Woman’s Journey to the Top’ gives a powerful message to women who are undecided as to what they want to be when it comes to their careers. And she convincingly says ‘You are built to be CEO.’ The 221-page book consist insightful research with many aspects on how to succeed in today’s challenging and evolving environment, ideal for young executives and senior managers looking for great insights on early career development, management thinking and strategy.
With many women increasingly taking up the role of CEO even in many global corporations in the recent years, the gender fact will no longer be noteworthy and relevant. However this book is not just for women, it offers a concrete guidance and path to anyone who is aspiring to become effective leaders. The essence of the book is all about how to get to the top, how to lead, and how to inspire others. It stresses on the fact that future CEOs go beyond their comfort zones to continuously achieve their progressive goals, by always reminding themselves that they haven’t come this far, just to come this far.
‘Can I do better?’, ‘Am I built for more?’ Sabrina lists 10 building blocks divided into distinctive chapters, drawing from her own experiences as well as others. It gives inspiration and motivation in identifying and overcoming challenges at each stage of one’s career, outlining typical mistakes to avoid regarding the time factor during early stages and goes onto provide an in-depth analysis of progress with prevailing gender gaps in the industry. The book begins with self-exploration with the basic question being ‘Do you want to be CEO’.
It then touches upon why time is one’s most valuable player and being aware or understanding as to what he or she is getting into, and the types, traits, support structures, environments, and the way forward. It also features stories from role models and mentors including four-time Olympic Champ ion Jennif fer, UFC Champion Alexis Davis and Emmywinning reporter Patti Lee to name a few. Sabrina states that future CEOs need to give priority to the ‘money value of time’ in a world today where disruption and innovation takes place rapidly.
Organisations and individuals are re-thinking the nature of their relationship with time, and the money value of time is influenced by various other factors as opposed to taking into account by conventional hourly wages or gross income. Sharing one of her lessons from a close CEO, she says ‘if you are aiming to be CEO the present value of your time is greater than the same amount of time in the future. It is now more important that the time you have in your early career is spent well because at some point you stop being the youngest and reflect whether you could’ve done better, surely regrets are very expensive.’
Sabrina Ghouse graduated from Harvard University and currently serves as the Chief of Staff to the CEO of AAA in the US, having served in a similar capacity to numerous CEOs in diverse industries. She is also the founder of two non-profit organisations involved in education. Sabrina pays tribute to her mother who had encouraged her to be what she was built to be ‘my mother told me once that some people are so poor that they only have money’.
The book provides facts and research on the lack of female CEOs among Fortune 500 and in the leadership pipeline, the gender wage gap, Hollywood and the film industry, and the power of women in the workplace, with key takeaways such as early career is one’s most valuable player, invisible environmental forces that are against, financial acumen, CEO personality traits and supporters, a unique personal brand, and how one’s path to be a CEO is shaped by three simple questions.