“Be open to opportunity and take risks. In fact, take the worst, the messiest, the most challenging assignment you can find, and then take control. – Angela Braly, CEO of WellPoint.

By John Bussey (Contributor, Wall Street Journal)

Along the career path, the CEOs say, pursue new skills relentlessly.

Change jobs after you’ve mastered the current one. Be willing to tack sideways on the career track, or even backward, to pick up key expertise or command a business unit.

“I knew from an early age that I wanted to lead a company,” says Denise Morrison of Campbell Soup. “I developed a strategic process for my career plan that set the final destination, developed the career track, identified skills to build, took line positions to gain experience, and sought leadership and management training on the job, through special assignments, coaching and networking. For example, as VP of Marketing for Nestlé, I actually worked in a manufacturing plant which gave me a deep appreciation for how the supply chain works.”

» Read the full article on Wall Street Journal.