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22: Acing 'The CEO Test,' with Kevin Sharer, Former Chairman and CEO, Amgen; Author, “The CEO Test”

The Gary Bisbee Show

22: Acing 'The CEO Test,' with Kevin Sharer, Former Chairman and CEO, Amgen; Author, “The CEO Test”

In this episode, we sit down with Kevin Sharer, a former Chairman and CEO of Amgen and author of "The CEO Test." The conversation explores characteristics to look for in…
August 12, 2021

22: Acing 'The CEO Test,' with Kevin Sharer, Former Chairman and CEO, Amgen; Author, “The CEO Test”

Meet Kevin Sharer:

Kevin Sharer led Amgen for 20 years, first as President and then as CEO. He also co-authored The CEO Test: Master the Challenges That Make or Break All Leaders. Kevin served on several boards of directors and on the faculty of Harvard Business School. Kevin received a Bachelor of Science in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy, an MS in aeronautical engineering from the US Naval Postgraduate School, and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business.

Key Insights: 

Kevin began his leadership journey in Navy submarines, translating his technical skills and interest in personal growth to his roles as President and eventually CEO of Amgen. He shares timeless knowledge about improving oneself and the skills necessary to be a successful CEO or board member.

  • Governance. It’s not enough to just show up. Being a good board member means balance, building relationships, and making the tough calls. (46:09)
  • Passing the CEO Test. Kevin discusses what selecting a quality CEO entails, including asking all the right questions and trusting your gut. (24:14)
  • Asking the Right Question. Diving deep and asking the right people questions will give you all the information you need to make quality judgements. (15;59)
  • Listening as an Art Form. The biggest revelation in Kevin’s career was the importance of listening, and how he needed to be a better listener. (28:21)

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