Basic Black

Posted April 1, 2008 in Leadership, What We're Reading

By: Cathie Black

Reviewed By: Glain Roberts-McCabe

The Premise: Cathie Black is CEO of Hearst Magazine and the woman who convinced Oprah to launch O-Magazine the most successfully magazine launch in history. Black walks us through her career milestones from Ms. Magazine to USA Today and provides insights and advice on what she’s learned along the way.

The Bottom-line: The book is in the genre of the pocket-Mentor approach. Black provides a number of career 101 lesson points such as make your boss look good and then backs them up with her own stories and experiences. Some of the tips (like the aforementioned) feel a bit basic but maybe that’s the point. As with most things, what separates people who are successful from everyone else is the fact that they don’t just know the basics, they actually stick to them and execute. Black is refreshingly open and honest about her own shortcomings and provides a glimpse into C-suite decision-making. Most of the book’s marketing seems to suggest women would enjoy this book. But really do we suggest only men would enjoy Jack Welch’s Winning? Executive excellence is executive excellence, gender aside.


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