Book Review – The CEO Next Door by Elena Botelho and Kim Powell


The CEO Next Door by Elena Botelho and Kim Powell is a thought-provoking lifting of the lid to an effective leader’s toolbox. The authors conducted a study of over 2600 leaders to find what made the most successful leaders. Don’t be put off by the title, it is a practical and motivational resource for current CEO, aspiring CEOs, and any leader in business, sport, or education.

What is it about?

The authors conducted research to find what traits and abilities are needed to become a successful CEO. They found that the skills they discovered were not natural abilities but skills that anyone can learn. The book highlights these and offers a guide to help the reader develop them.

Who is it for?

The book is great for anyone who is a leader of people and decision-maker in a business, they don’t really need to be CEO by title or position. I found that it can apply to anyone who leads a team as well as a business.

What are the key points?

The subtitle is The 4 Behaviours That Transform Ordinary People Into World-Class Leaders, the 4 behaviours are:

  • Decisiveness – when it comes to decision making speed is more important than precision.
  • Adapting proactively – embrace change and proactively seek strategic opportunities
  • Relentless reliability – develop the mindset, build the team, and embed habits that allow you to consistently deliver on your promises
  • Engaging for impact – There is a sweet spot of niceness, you need to be likeable and engage effectively by leading with intent, understanding your team, and practice deliberate routines.

Thoughts & Actions.

The four behaviours conveniently form the acronym DARE.

If you are a leader, do you feel that it would be a challenge to adopt these behaviours?
Which one would be the most challenging for you? For me, it would have to be decisiveness.
Do you think that the same principles apply in terms of customer service?


The book is well presented with key takeaways at the end of key chapters, and focus areas that pose questions. The authors have made the results of their research available to the reader in a well structured and practical format. On first listen via audiobook, I was distracted by the CEO target, not really being one, I probably didn’t engage with it, but on a revisit, I found it a valuable resource and framework for being a leader in my own business as well as for a CEO of a larger corporation.

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