The simple, straight-forward words of advice by Allan Cox to young people— “Do what’s right in front of you”— define a key reason for Cox’ own masterful achievements over the course of his lifetime.
A respected and sought-after advisor to CEOs, Top Teams and Boards, Alan Cox’ words and work will long be remembered, passed on and put into action by generations yet to be born. He died at age 81, on August 28, 2018, in his Chicago home, after a long struggle with cancer.
He had been a longtime, valued mentor of The Mentors Radio Show host and pioneering medical device and life sciences CEO Tom Loarie. His interview with Allan Cox may be heard here.
Allan began his career in executive search and executive assessment, serving on the management committee of Spencer Stuart & Associates—then the largest search firm in the world. In 1969, he founded the practice that bears his name. During the past 30+ years, Allan has provided invaluable support and development to corporate leaders throughout the United States. His work focuses on corporate alignment: (1) counseling CEOs and direct reports, (2) facilitating top management/board retreats, and (3) helping articulate corporate purpose, uniqueness and method.
Allan Cox authored 12 books, ranging from the pioneering Confessions of a Corporate Headhunter in 1973 (the first book ever written about the Executive Search profession) to The CEO In You in 2013, including three books of poetry, photography and reflection. He also wrote a series for the New York Times Sunday business section and Field Newspaper syndicate; articles for Chief Executive, Across the Board, Industry Week, Training & Development Journal, Success, Advertising Age and various airline magazines. From 1986 to 1988 he wrote a weekly column for Los Angeles Times Syndicate entitled “The Achiever.”
“You have some task in front of you that you don’t want to do. This is a difficult time. This is something you wish you could get past. This is a project you’ve been asked to do. This is a course you’ve been asked to take. Do what’s right in front of you,” advised Allan Cox, delivering candid tips for success in a 2015 video interview.
He concluded: “Forget about all those grand missions that you’re about. Do what’s right in front of you. You take care of it and that’s what is going to lead you to the next step.”
His interviewer nodded his head in agreement and then commented, “That’s good advice for older people too!” They both laughed.
The Mentors Radio Show hosts and the Catholic Business Journal staff join the family, friends and colleagues of Allan Cox in mourning the passing of someone who so tirelessly helped radically and positively alter the course of life for so many during his earthly sojourn.
- Allan Cox, who employed psychology background in consulting work with top executives, dies
- Allan Cox, videos
- Interview with Allan Cox on The Mentors Radio Show: What Pulls You Forward?