Staying positive is one of the secrets to Corn Product CEO Ilene Gordon's success -- as is patience. "It's important to have a plan... but to enjoy every position you have and not be looking for the next position," she told the Chicago Tribune in January. "I think a lot of people in their career who have a plan, they're very transparent: That's just a steppingstone to the next job. I think it's very important to build credibility and enjoy and learn from every position you have."
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How does military experience translate in the corporate world? Just ask these top execs.