The Road to the Executive Suite

CareerCast - Life-long Career Development

Many people aspire to senior corporate ranks, yet few get there. If you analyze individuals who make it to the executive suite, certain qualities, characteristics, and experiences emerge. In this CareerCast, strategic advisor to CEOs, author, and president and chief executive officer of the Center for High Performance, Susan Lucia Annunzio shares her vast experience, keen insights, and practical advice from her decades of working directly with C-suite executives.

Aired August 15, 2014

Susan Lucia Annunzio is president and chief executive officer of The Center for High Performance (CfHP). She is a strategic advisor to CEOs of leading global companies on strategy attainment and business transformation. Susan partners with senior executives to increase their ability to simplify complex strategic decisions through enhanced collaboration and creativity. She is a globally recognized speaker and thought leader on shaping and maintaining high-performance business environments. She has a strong track record helping leaders maximize returns on strategic, financial, and human-capital investments.

Previously, Susan ran the research-based high performance consulting subsidiary of Hudson Highland Group, Inc., a leading international professional staffing and talent management solutions firm.

Under her direction, Hudson Highland completed the most comprehensive global study of knowledge workers ever conducted regarding the factors that accelerate or stifle high performance. Susan has presented on this study at such prestigious venues as the World Economic Forum, The International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change at the University of Greenwich, and Vacature’s 2004 “Talent Economy” launch event in Belgium.

Susan is a former adjunct professor of management at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where she still teaches the most popular Executive Education Program, High Performance Leadership. She has been a guest lecturer at INSEAD business school in Fontainebleau, France; Kellogg Graduate School of Management; and Instituto Empressa in Madrid. She also has taught at General Electric’s Crotonville Corporate Training Center.

She is the author of Contagious Success (Portfolio, 2004), a dynamic management book that revealed a global standard for high performance. Contagious Success was voted Fast Company’s Readers’ Choice selection in January 2005. Additionally, Susan authored two more prominent business books: Communicoding (Fine, 1990; Penguin USA, 1991) and Evolutionary Leadership (Simon & Schuster, 2001; Fireside, 2002).

She has been a guest on numerous local and national television and radio news programs and has been quoted extensively in the business press, including The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, BBC, USA Today, and Bloomberg.

Susan is a member of the University of Chicago Women's Business Group, the Executives' Club of Chicago, and the Economic Club of Chicago where she serves as the chairman of the Membership Committee for Professional Service Firms. She also works with the Metropolitan YWCA of Chicago and The United Way.

The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success, William N. Thorndike (2012)

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

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

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

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

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

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful, 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, Marshall Goldsmith (2011, 80 pages)

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

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

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