Getting to the C-suite (CEO, CMO, COO, etc.) level isn’t as straightforward a process as it once was. In the past, a business may have only promoted from within their own ranks, but now businesses are recruiting leaders  from various sources. The next CEO pick may come from management down the hall or from 3,000 miles away.
Crack the C-Suite Code: How Successful Leaders Make it to the Top  provides a framework or this new process and serves as a guide for hopeful C-suite leaders who need help managing their career goals for the highest levels of business leadership.
What is Crack the C-Suite Code About?
Business owners aren’t limited to promoting from within when looking for leadership talent anymore. Because of that, business leaders who want to move up the career ladder must be prepared to manage their own careers. Helping aspiring C-suite executives to understand and navigate this new reality is the core aim of Crack the C-Suite Code. Working at a company for 20+ years is no longer a guarantee that you’ll be in the big office someday.
As an aspiring C-suite leader, executive hopefuls need to prepare their careers for every possibility. They need to prepare for promotion, but also possibly for leaving their company to pursue their career goals elsewhere. Crack the C-Suite Code examines how aspiring leaders can determine when it is time to make a move.
To help business executives take ownership of their careers, Crack the C-Suite Code looks at a few paths a leader might take when trying to reach the top rung of the executive latter. In some cases, executives may wish to sit tight and be patient. In other cases, moving on may honesty be the only answer.
The book doesn’t provide any definitive answers to the question of how leaders can meet their career goals Rather, Crack the C-Suite Code shares details of the paths other successful leaders have already taken thus showing how potential C-suite leaders can learn from the experience of others, no matter where in their careers they are. By studying these examples of success, readers learn how to create their own “leadership code” and carve their own unique path to the corner office.
Author Cassandra Frangos, EdD is a leadership consultant who specializes in executive leadership problems and succession planning. In her current role as consultant for Spencer Stuart, she works with Fortune 500 companies at the executive level. As former head of Cisco’s Global Executive Talent, she is credited with working with planning the succession of the longest-tenured CEOs in the tech industry.
What Was Best About Crack the C-Suite Code?
Unlike other books which suggest a linear path from the cubicle to the corner office, Crack the C-Suite Code tells it like it is: Reaching the C-suite level is not a walk in the park. There are many factors at play, both within and outside an organization, that determine who will be the next CEO, CMO or CFO. In order to deal with this reality, Crack the C-Suite Code offers an adaptable framework to help leaders navigate. This framework, developed from Frangos’ own experience at the executive level, is valuable.
What Could Have Been Done Differently?
While Crack the C-Suite Code offers a realistic view of the reality of climbing the ladder to executive success in today’s unpredictable business world, it could do more to address issues of diversity. Executive leaders from diverse backgrounds are crucial to helping businesses navigate through a complex and multi-generational world. More discussion on how businesses can actively implement strategies to hire more diverse leaders within the various pathways discussed in the book might be helpful.
Crack the C-Suite Code could also do more to address how executive management can adapt its succession planning for the unpredictable world of business
Why Read Crack the C-Suite Code?
Crack the C-Suite Code is a must-read for any leader who feels frustrated by the process of reaching his or her leadership goals. It is particularly helpful for those leaders who end up in leadership roles they did not anticipate — or those who did not receive an expected promotion. The book highlights the key issues that leaders must address when trying to move up.
Frangos’ book should be considered a playbook for planning your executive career. The book doesn’t provide a play-by-play of every step you need to make. Instead, it provides a broad overview so future C-suite leaders know what to expect.
The book’s principles, however, are not only for executive leaders. They can, in fact, be adapted to any leadership role. If a leader needs help understanding where to go next in his or her career, this book can help.