In Dallas, There is a Business World "Man of Mystery"
Till I saw this Newsweek story, I'd didn't know much about Ram Charan, which the mag refers to as "The CEO Whisperer" and the "Corporate Confidant." Turns out, he's only a part-time Dallas resident: He keeps an office here, but Charan, the author of several beloved bidness how-to's and what-for's, tells the magazine he has no actual residence and actually lives out of various hotels 365 nights a year. That's because he's out on the road having informal chits and chats with the highest-level CEOs out there, among them former General Electric honcho Jack Welch, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg and...and...well, Charan, a notoriously private guy, doesn't reveal to Newsweek exactly who his clients are or how many of them he has.
Three years back, Fast Company also profiled Charan, referring to him as a "Man of Mystery" who "lives nowhere and goes everywhere." And who works all the time, which makes him my latest man-crush. Oh, incidentally, Charan Associates Inc. does have an actual address on Central Expressway and a listed phone number. And if you call, you will get a very friendly and helpful woman on the phone who does confirm that, yeah, her boss has "never been in the office" and that he's "remarkably easy to work for." The three-person office staff takes care of prepping his research materials; in short, it's there for "phone, FedEx and fax," she says. Sounds like Charlie to me. Angels? --Robert Wilonsky