The Road to the C-Suite

CareerCast - Life-long Career Development

Debra Benton Getting to the corner office was once just a matter of paying your dues and following a narrowly defined route. Today, it takes that and much more. In this CareerCast, Debra Benton, president of Benton Management Resources and author of several books, from How to Think Like a CEO to How to Act Like a CEO Online and Offline, will share her insights, perspective, and practical advice from her decades of working directly with CEOs.

Aired June 15, 2012

Debra Benton has been in business successfully for over 30 years, having founded Benton Management Resources in 1976. She has helped professionals worldwide to design subtle changes in their presentation, attitude, and leadership style that ultimately resulted in an increase in their personal and professional effectiveness—and subsequently their financial status. Her client list reads like a “Who’s Who” in successful business today. Debra’s style and ability to influence positive change has put people “in office,” made companies millions, accelerated career advancement, and created a beneficial ripple effect throughout numerous organizations. She has coached corporate executives, politicians, and business leaders on their organizational impact in every industry imaginable. Every week Fortune, Forbes, or Fast Company features a client with whom she’s worked.

From thousands of in-depth interviews with high-profile leaders, Debra has written seven books and numerous articles in business publications, including the Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal. Her best-selling books have been translated into 14 languages. Her expertise has afforded her front-page coverage in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. She has been repeatedly written about in Time, BusinessWeek, Fortune, and the New York Times; has been a welcome guest on the Today Show, Good Morning America, and CNN; and was interviewed by Diane Sawyer for CBS.

As an internationally recognized communications and interpersonal relations expert, Debra is a popular keynote speaker. She has spoken to hundreds of organizations, including American Express, United Airlines, Viacom, McKinsey & Company, Comcast, Kraft, Hewlett-Packard, the US Border Patrol, and Lockheed Martin in 18 countries before audiences as large as 5,000 on such topics as Executive Charisma, How to Think and Act Like the Best CEOs, and the Art of Leadership. As a speaker, Debra has consistently achieved a rating in the top 2 percent of all presenters.

Although Debra has never been in the military, she has tried to serve her country with her work, starting with a brief time on the USS Clarke missile frigate to observe naval leadership. Following that, she was invited onboard the USS Washington aircraft carrier and to be part of a group traveling with General Abizaid in the Middle East to study military leadership. She has repeatedly worked with most branches of the military, including several assignments with the Veterans Administration and the US Border Patrol. Debra has been on the editorial advisory board for the Rocky Mountain News and was a career expert for CBS affiliate KMGH-TV.

She holds a BS in economics and finance from Colorado State University and is the recipient of the school’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Debra lives with her husband, Rodney Sweeney, a retired cowboy and ranch manager, in Colorado.

The Virtual Executive: How to Act Like a CEO Online and Offline by Debra Benton (2012)

360 Degrees of Influence: Get Everyone to Follow Your Lead on Your Way to the Top by Harrison Monarth (2011)

CEO Material: How to Be a Leader in Any Organization by Debra Benton (2009)

Executive Presence: The Art of Commanding Respect Like a CEO by Harrison Monarth (2009)

Your Next Move: The Leader’s Guide to Navigating Major Career Transitions by Michael Watkins (2009)

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith (2007, 256 pages) or What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful—A Round Table Comic by Marshall Goldsmith (2011, 80 pages)

Secrets to Winning at Office Politics: How to Achieve Your Goals and Increase Your Influence at Work by Marie G. McIntyre (2005)

How to Act Like a CEO: 10 Rules for Getting to the Top and Staying There by Debra Benton (2003) 

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (1936)

Debra Benton Virtual Executive

Read an excerpt of The Virtual Executive: How to Act Like a CEO Online and Offline by Debra Benton. 

Read the Excerpt