Too often “popular” business books over promise and over generalize. They lack depth. The academic books, on the other hand, have depth but are too often arcane and lack both practical wisdom and offer few to no diagnostic tools. This book offers much needed practical wisdom and helpful practices (what the authors call “a playbook”) for being successful in the CEO role particularly in smaller and emerging growth firms. Not a perfect book. It lacks “thick description” leadership examples and business cases. Also, their descriptions of practices like developing a 1-page strategic plan, running issue driven QBRs, topgrading talent, etc, are important but “thin” with no discussion of what is difficult in doing that work. Indeed, in my experience as an executive educator and a strategy consultant, the terrain is more complex than their map (playbook). Some content areas like Boards are treated superficially. That said, still much rich and useful content is here despite the limitations I note. Also, importantly, Part III of the book address “You”. It includes a summary of “6 essential skills of the CEO” and a short but thoughtful discussion of mindfulness and leading a balanced life. I found that more philosophical and reflective focus encouraging and helpful. Both this book and McKinsey’s recent book on CEO Excellence (McKinsey profiles CEO practices in large companies) are worth a read. Two very different books but both offering important real world insights into what effective CEOs do.