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David Cote, former CEO Honeywell - Advancing Your Career and the Art of Direct Communication
Episode 426th September 2020 • The CEO Sessions • Ben Fanning
00:00:00 00:46:26

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E4 Former Honeywell chairman and CEO, David Cote is a legendary business executive and now executive chairman of Vertiv Holdings.

During his time at Honeywell, shares rose 282%, more than double the S&P 500's growth in that period. And its market capitalization soared from $20 billion to nearly $100 billion. The organization had over 130,000 employees, of which, I was one.

He is also the author of the book Winning Now, Winning Later. In the book he writes about how you can hit your short-term goals without sacrificing long-term growth as a leader. He shares a simple, paradigm-shifting method of achieving both short-and long-term goals.

Cote was also elected to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, served as a founding member of the steering committee of the Campaign to Fix the Debt.

Cote was named Vice Chair of the Business Roundtable (BRT) in 2011 and chaired its Energy and Environment Committee.

In 2010, Cote was named by President Barack Obama to serve on the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (Simpson-Bowles Commission).

He holds many awards including being named CEO of the Year from Chief Executive Magazine as well as a World’s Best CEO by Barron’s for five consecutive years.

Cote earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of New Hampshire.


Dave's Linkedin Profile


  • The surprise when I visited Dave’s office the first time.
  • What sports memorabilia and important reminders Dave keeps in his office.
  • The unexpected moment that Jack Welch accelerated Dave’s career.
  • The two things required for advancement in your career.
  • When’s the right time to “stick to your guns”.
  • Dave’s philosophy on meetings and how to make sure you get the most from them.
  • How to flip meeting protocol to make sure you get everyone’s input.
  • Dave’s story of his first meeting President Barack Obama, and how he ended up introducing the President at a White House press conference despite being a Registered Republican.
  • What to do when you have a lot of ambition but no career direction.
  • The question to ask yourself when you’re at a crossroads.
  • What is short termism, and why it’s important that every leader understands it.
  • How learning to balance short and long term results drove Honeywell’s financial results.
  • How to develop the skill of direct communication and why it’s essential.

Key Quotes:

“Advancement requires both performance and visibility.”

“Make sure you're performing in whatever you’re doing and go beyond.”

“Stand for something.”

“As a leader It’s your job to be right at the end of the meeting, instead of the beginning of the meeting.”

“If you have something to say, say it in the meeting or keep it to yourself.”

“Try to picture yourself at 60. What do you want to say about yourself?”


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