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The Naked CEO: The Truth You Need to Build a Big Life

ISBN: 978-0-7303-1459-2
256 pages
October 2014, Wrightbooks
The Naked CEO: The Truth You Need to Build a Big Life (0730314596) cover image

Description

The Naked CEO's guide to achieving your dream, starting now

From suspended schoolboy to disruptive CEO, Alex Malley, The Naked CEO, has led a life rich in successes and mistakes. Through it all he has learned a lot about what it takes to successfully build not only a big career, but also a big life.

Gain insights from a successful CEO who's lived a big life. Be inspired by his unabashed real-life stories. Learn how to dream big and have the courage to pursue your passions and be willing to fail in that quest. Take the practical tips and apply them to your own career.

Whether you're a student, jobseeker, professional, new to the workforce or just stuck in a rut, this book is your guide through the hurdles of the career journey to a big life. As a father of seven, Alex knows that this is the perfect book for parents or mentors looking to inspire the next generation.

Career-readiness is a skill that people need. It can be learned the hard way, after years on the job and many potentially serious missteps, or it can be learned ahead of time by listening to those who have been there. The Naked CEO helps graduates, jobseekers, and professionals learn the lessons and limit their mistakes.

Learn how to:

  • Become a leader
  • Successfully stand out and get noticed
  • Harness the power of being yourself
  • Network and create a profile
  • Establish rapport with colleagues and turn around an under-performing team
  • Get organised, spot opportunities, and learn how to say no
  • Set priorities, build confidence, learn how to delegate, and more

The Naked CEO is the truth you need to build a big life.

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Table of Contents

About Alex Malley xvii

Acknowledgements xix

Prologue xxi

Part I: Dare to dream

1 Be yourself 5

2 Dreams don’t happen overnight 13

3 Mistakes make you smarter and stronger 19

4 Insights come from everywhere 27

5 The black box 35

Part II: Create your own universe 43

6 Study — finish what you start 47

7 Networking for novices 55

8 Get LinkedIn 63

9 Creating a resume that gets read 71

10 Succeeding at job interviews 79

Part III: It’s all about the people 91

11 The first day of a new job 95

12 Establishing a rapport with your colleagues 101

13 Remembering and using people’s names 109

14 Team work and poor team performance 115

15 Getting people to say ‘yes’ 123

Part IV: Be the best person you can be 131

16 Getting organised and getting things done 135

17 Spotting an opportunity and standing out 141

18 Sucking it up 149

19 Pushing back and saying ‘no’ 157

20 Working out when to leave 167

Part V: The leadership track 175

21 Setting priorities 179

22 The importance of delegating 187

23 Building your leadership confidence 195

24 The work–life balance myth 203

25 Leadership — it’s personal 209

Conclusion 215

Index 217

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Author Information

Alex Malley is the CEO of CPA Australia, an award-winning educator, and host of Nine Network's The Bottom Line. A parent of seven, Alex is a LinkedIn Influencer and tweets at @AlexMalleyCEO.
thenakedceo.com/thebook

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Reviews

“..this is a very personal book which makes it more powerful, as it shows this is not just theory but it works” (Financial Adviser, February 2015)

Alex Malley brings great enthusiasm, experience and wisdom to the crucial task of understanding what it takes to be the best possible you. An invaluable handbook for anyone seeking to acquire the secrets of all round success.
--The Honourable Richard Alston

Life's journey is different for every one of us, and clearly Alex has made an extraordinary journey that will help so many people realise that energy and determination are every bit as important as paper qualifications.
--Lord Jeffrey Archer, author

Intellect and skill alone will not make you a real leaders. The best leaders that I have observed build relationships through a set of principles which mobilises and unleashes the competencies of those around you, as Alex Malley illustrates in this book. If you get that right then you have a chance to succeed.
--Don Argus AO, FCPA, Chairman of Bank of America Merrill Lynch Australia Advisory Board

The Naked CEO is an inspirational how-to guide for young people looking to get ahead in business and in life. It's a practical and motivational toolkit that I believe gives our next generation every opportunity for success. I look forward to seeing how these young entrepreneurs change our world for the better.
--Mark Bouris, Executive Chairman of Yellow Brick Road and host of The Celebrity Apprentice Australia

I have experienced great success and great failure in my professional life. If you have never known failure you can never really know success and this book will help you understand how to make the most of your failures.
--John Brogden AM, CEO, Financial Services Council, and Chairman, Lifeline Australia

The book has a number of hints, tips and real-life situations and stories that provide the DNA for successful leadership and management.
--Bernie Brookes, CEO and Managing Director, Myer

The lessons of leadership in this book are invaluable and inspirational. Dreams can come true so dream big and don't give up. This is a must read for anyone who aspires to be a leader. I loved it.
--Ita Buttrose AO, OBE, journalist, author and businesswoman

What a great book to help navigate an individual toward their goals. I support Alex, his intelligence and generosity and most of all his example to the community.
--Kate Ceberano, singer and writer

What a gift to find a book to turn to which gives a no holds barred look at the way to achieve major success, in an easy to understand way, from someone who has already done it. This book is a must for those who dare to dream of a future goal, think big and do something positive towards it.
--Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton, author

The Naked CEO is a very innovative approach and it connects well with the younger generation. Alex Malley's enthusiasm, creativity and passion in motivating and encouraging the young people is truly inspiring!
--Agnes Chan FCPA, Managing Partner, Hong Kong and Macau, EY

As the father of a daughter about to graduate next year I must say that for our family this is a very timely book. Full of insight, wisdom and inspiration, and peppered with anecdotes that bring the lessons to life, it is invaluable guidance for young people about to commence, or in the early stages of, their career or journey.
--Fayezul Choudhury, CEO, International Federation of Accountants

The Naked CEO makes the transition from classroom to conference room a little less daunting for every student beginning their career.
--S. Bruce Dowton, Vice-Chancellor, Macquarie University

Alex's commitment to leadership goes beyond his connection with the younger generation. Our organisation, our brand and our profession have been greatly enhanced because of his energy, passion and drive that inspires not just our current membership but also the future business leaders of tomorrow.
--Penny Egan, FCPA, President and Chairman of the Board, CPA Australia

I encourage you all to heed Alex's sage advice. I know I would have appreciated it at the same point in my career. Indeed, I'll be sharing Alex's book with my three sons! It's the combination of knuckling down to hard work, being observant and respectful, and then taking on new and bigger challenges that really resonates for me. Go well, and as Alex says, enjoy a big life!
--Bruce Gosper, CEO, Austrade

Alex Malley shares with us in The Naked CEO the rich veins of a life of an extraordinary communicator and leader. In an entertaining way he captivates the reader drawing out wonderful lessons for a good life as he extols us to dare to dream, to have confidence, to respect others and to have an ongoing pursuit of the insight of life. We are lucky Alex has taken the time to write this as I know all of us will be the better for his great stories and advice.
--David Gonski AC

In creating The Naked CEO Alex Malley again demonstrates his true leadership qualities. He provides a trail for others for their own ambition; and his willingness to share shows the mark of a real leader.
--Ross Greenwood, business and finance editor, Nine Network Australia, and 2GB's Money News program

True to form, Alex leaves nothing off the table about leadership and the realities of the workplace.
--David Gyngell, CEO Nine Entertainment Co.

Alex Malley is a leader that I deeply respect. He is deeply committed to a leader's most important responsibility: to impart their experience and insight. I strongly support his intent to pass the lessons he has learned from a lifetime of good and bad experiences. His book is a guide to advise and assist young people to become successfully established in professional life.
--Air Chief Marshal (Ret.) Angus Houston AC, AFC

The Naked CEO is about the pursuit of insight. It reminds us to look deeper, listen harder, reach further and not least of all, to have faith in ourselves. Alex is a true leader and a passionate educator, and everyone--from student to experienced CEO--can take something from the wisdom he shares in these pages.
--Chris Jordan, Commissioner of Taxation, Australian Taxation Office

Alex Malley is fascinated by the secrets of leadership and innovation--in the corporation and in the world. His original book will inspire, stimulate and irritate readers, sometimes, remarkably enough, all at the same time. It is the irritation that creates the pearls. 
--The Hon Michael Kirby AC, CMG, Past Justice of the High Court of Australia

Last year, millions of young people around the world remained unemployed--more than three times the population of Australia. The Naked CEO provides a resource for anyone hoping to navigate the difficult transition from the classroom to the "real world". By sharing his unique experiences and insights, Alex provides a platform from which young people can launch their careers, while also helping them plan for the bold near- and far-term actions that will lead to lasting success.
--Andrew N. Liveris, Chairman & CEO, The Dow Chemical Company

Living life to the best of our ability is probably everyone's dream. The Naked CEO provides many insightful shortcuts in the rush to lead a better life. 
--Helen McCabe, Editor-in-Chief, The Australian Women's Weekly

Many CEOs have taken a winding road to the top. Not everyone drove a bright-orange Datsun like Alex did but all have been on a journey that has shaped their skills and outlook, and honed their determination. There is plenty of good advice in this book, particularly that you should never underestimate your ability to influence outcomes, achieve success and make the world a better place along the way.
--Ian McPhee PSM, FCPA, Auditor-General for Australia, Australian National Audit Office

Alex Malley's book is all about helping young people have the courage to be the best they can. I urge them to get a copy and read it.
--Greg Medcraft, ASIC Chairman

Alex Malley is one of Australia's great thinkers and contributors to business and corporate governance.
--Nyunggai Warren Mundine, Chairman, Prime Minister's Indigenous Advisory Council

Alex Malley has done some extraordinary things and met many amazing people in his life, and through this book he shares insights and advice collected on his life journey. CPA Australia is to be congratulated for the contribution this book will make to improving management and leadership in Australia.
--Christine Nixon APM, former Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police

There are many paths to success in life. Alex Malley shares his own story with unusual honesty and insight. An invaluable roadmap for those aspiring to maximise these career potential and leadership talents.
--Susan Pascoe AM, Australia Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

The Naked CEO is a truly insightful work which holds great value for anyone looking for personal development or inspiration. Alex Malley has created an amazing book through his honesty and passion to teach. His lessons learnt over a lifetime provide a roadmap for those looking for success and a meaningful life. I highly recommend The Naked CEO.
--Ben Roberts-Smith VC, MG, Managing Director, RS Group Australia

The insights and experiences Alex shares in this book are an honest and very real reflection of leadership and personal development. The tips are practical and easy to apply and this book will fast become a must read guide for young people about to embark on their career. If every person aspired to a "big life", imagine the potential we could unlock not just in ourselves, but in the broader community in which we exist.
--Luke Sayers, CEO, PwC Australia

Alex's passion for encouraging people to make the most of their life is genuine and infectious. Alex believes that life is just too important to waste time wondering what might happen. The Alex that I know has endless optimism and endless energy. Take the bold step that he urges you to take.
--Tim Sheehy FGIA, Chief Executive, Governance Institute of Australia Ltd.

I've always been excited to get out of bed and get to work. Alex clearly has the same excitement each day for teaching and supporting others as they progress in their careers.
--Curtis Stone, chef

I have admired Alex's commitment to helping young people succeed. The Naked CEO website was a great idea and I believe many talented young people benefitted from the lessons contained in it. This book provides many practical ideas that would benefit ambitious young people.
--Giam Swiegers, CEO, Deloitte Australia

Alex Malley writes with great clarity, honesty and passion about leadership and life. Whether you agree or disagree with his insights, they'll help you better understand your own challenges and opportunities. 
--The Honourable Lindsay Tanner 

A recipe book for success in any field, with practical tips that are easily understood, by someone who has put them into effect with astounding results. Every young person with ambition should read this.
--Mark Tedeschi AM, QC

Alex Malley is an inspiration. The passion he exudes in every facet of his incredible life is a beauty to behold and the examples he sets and qualities he embodies offer lessons to all of us. Alex is a mentor to the leaders of tomorrow--a wise soul with a brilliant mind who is on a dynamic journey.
--Richard Wilkins, network entertainment editor, Nine Network Australia

This book will help inspire a whole new generation of CEOs. A must read for young students entering the workforce and professionals alike.
--Gary Wingrove, CEO, KPMG Australia

While the young today need to think big and live life with a passion, they also need the tenacity to hold on to their dreams when faced with obstacles. Alex Malley's new book is an encouraging read for those who want their lives to be meaningful and to make a difference.
--Philip Yuen FCPA, CEO, Deloitte Singapore

Congratulations to Alex for his heartwarming and insightful account of the learning curve he followed and his leadership principles. His remarkable life journey will serve as an inspiration to future leaders.
--Datuk Nor Shamsiah Yunus FCPA, Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Malaysia

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Press Release

September 04, 2014
The Naked CEO: The truth you need to build a big life

Even a suspended schoolboy can become a CEO

From suspended schoolboy to disruptive CEO, Alex Malley has led a life rich in success and mistakes. Through it all he has learned a lot about what it takes to successfully build not only a big career, but also a big life — the secrets of which he shares in his new book, The Naked CEO.

In this inspirational guide, Alex — CPA Australia CEO and host of the Nine Network’s The Bottom Line — combines his candid, real-life stories with practical career advice to help aspiring leaders navigate the professional world.

From growing up with a mother who suffered from clinical depression, to his career misadventures and leadership insights learnt the hard way, Alex leaves nothing off the table in his quest to help students, people in workplace transition, fledgling leaders and jobseekers. 

“Mentoring students and professionals has been an important part of my life for many years. Through this book, I want to challenge our future leaders to have the courage to throw themselves into experiences and test what they’re capable of to lead a big and successful life.

“I’ve shared many of my experiences, the good and the bad, in the hope that readers will gain some insights to help guide them on their own career and life journey,” Alex says.  

Born out of the success of the highly popular online mentoring community, thenakedceo.com, Wiley approached Alex to write the book after viewing the extraordinary engagement Alex achieved with young people. Through thenakedceo.com, Alex has personally video responded to close to 1000 career-related questions, and the website has generated over two million visits in three years.

With powerful real-life success stories and outstanding practical advice, The Naked CEO provides 24/7 access to a career and life mentor. Inside, readers will find advice on how to

  • Become a leader who gets results
  • Stand out, get noticed and build an influential network
  • Establish rapport with colleagues and boost team performance
  • Spot opportunities and learn how (and when) to say no
  • Get organised, set priorities and build confidence.

A book that every young professional should have on their desk, The Naked CEO is a fantastic Christmas or graduation gift idea for parents.

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