What makes CEOs tick?

The Ticker

February 11, 1991|By Julius Westheimer

What are universal traits that make chief executive officers successful? A new book, "What Works For Me: l6 CEOs Talk About Their Careers," by Thomas R. Horton ($16.95) provides helpful answers.

Some findings: Need for achievement ("tendency to set realistic goals for themselves, desire for feedback about their own performance."). . . drive and motivation ("willingness to pay the price: grinding travel schedules, loss of privacy, responsibility for employees' well-being."). . . enormous self-confidence ("must have a firm sense of their worth."). . . tenacity ("people who just won't give up."). . . curiosity ("want to find out how things work."). . . optimism ("when confronted by gloomsters, they respond, 'We'll get through.' ")

LOOKING AHEAD: Kiplinger Washington Letter (Feb. 1) believes business prospects will improve at midyear as recession and war yield to world economic recovery, that recession will bottom out in June or July and war's end will revive consumer confidence. . . If Wall Street keeps up its heady performance -- Dow Jones average up 100 points last week, ahead 466 points (20 percent) since October's low -- many Wall Street historians feel the recession might be over by midsummer. Reason? Sustained stock advances have historically heralded business recoveries. . . "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." (Bits & Pieces).

BALTIMORE BEAT: Did you know that BG&E played several major roles in the widely-acclaimed movie "Avalon"? According to the BG&E house organ, VIP, "although our company doesn't appear in the credits, we provided electricity and 40 small appliances dating back to l945 -- old TV sets, coffee makers, toasters, waffle irons and electric fans, all seen lining the shelves of 'Kirk and Kaye's' appliance store. BG&E has acquired these, many of them trade-ins, some dating back to l9l0, to use in historical exhibits. And we leased the Fells Point Terminal Warehouse to 'Avalon,' which filmmakers transformed into K&K Discount Warehouse, decorated with Amertican flags for the July 4 grand opening celebration."

MARYLAND MEMO: Mike Way, president, Creative Computer Specialists, in Capitol Heights is profiled in Success, (Jan.-Feb. issue), as "a man whose business is holding up despite -- or even because of -- the recession." The "dynamo chief executive" says, "The recession actually increased our business, as we made the transition from creating software to helping small firms do their own marketing -- and services like ours can actually do better in a bad economy." Way adds, "Learning to sell is one of the toughest parts of building a business. I hate rejection but I learned that it's just part of the game, a stepping-stone to the guy who's going to say yes. Some business people sit behind desks and play at business. The reason mom-and-pop shops stay small is they refuse to sell."

MIDWINTER MEMOS: If you want a list of properties you may buy from failed savings and loans, sold by Resolution Trust Co., call 1-800-431-0600. . . Well-known attorney Ted Hirsh quips, "I keep all my money in "Sealy" Savings & Loan. . . Another lawyer told me, "Bankruptcy law is now a growth area". . . To check on your retirement funds, buy Barron's, dated today, with a cover story and endless pages of mutual fund results, all for $2.50.

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