What It Takes. Seven Secrets of Success from the World's Greatest Professional Firms

  • ID: 2330938
  • Book
  • Region: Global
  • 304 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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praise for WHAT IT TAKES

"This is the best book about corporate leadership that I′ve ever read."

—John Whitehead, former Co–Chairman, Goldman Sachs & Co., former Deputy Secretary of State

"Clear, crisp, and actionable insights on leadership, which can only come from a well experienced scholar and practitioner like Charley Ellis."

—Abdullatif A. Al–Othman, Governor, Saudi Arabian–General Investment Authority

"What It Takes is Ellis′s finest work on organizational excellence. His intimate knowledge of these organizations imparts powerful insights and lessons for those aspiring to build and sustain great and enduring organizations."

—Ng Kok Song, Chief Investment Officer, Government of Singapore Investment Corporation

"What It Takes is a clear–eyed view into the complexities of building and sustaining great organizations. Charley Ellis′s artful storytelling imparts insights that would benefit anyone aspiring to thoughtful, effective leadership throughout markets and histories."

—Lei Zhang, founder and CEO, Hillhouse Capital Management

"Charley Ellis has taken an incisive look under the hood of some of the world′s greatest professional organizations and has put his perceptive finger on not only what has made them succeed but has also led them to endure."

—D. Ronald Daniel, former Managing Partner, McKinsey & Company

"Once again, Charley Ellis has delved into the mysteries of leadership with clarity and insight."

—Jim Rothenberg, Chairman, Capital Research and Management Company

"Charley Ellis looks hard at how great firms succeed in fields as different as law, consulting, and medicine . . . and finds what it takes that they have in common."

—Jeff Bewkes, CEO, Time Warner

"Charley Ellis takes us through a series of master classes on corporate leadership. This is an outstanding contribution to help us understand that which divides winners from losers."

—Lord Paul Myners, former Treasury Minister, UK

"A very interesting study of the similarities and differences in the leadership of five very different professional firms. Should be required reading for other firms in those professions."

—Samuel C. Butler, former Presiding Partner, Cravath, Swaine & Moore

"I cannot imagine anyone better qualified than Charley Ellis to analyze, identify, and describe those characteristics that separate outstandingly successful professional firms from the merely very good ones. This fascinating book should be recommended reading for anyone wishing to become a leader in the professions described and for anyone with an ambition to succeed in business."

—Peter Stormonth Darling, former Chairman, Mercury Asset Management

"Of course everyone knows of the five great institutions which are the subject of Charley Ellis′s latest book. But what is it that made them outstanding? Charley, in this searching and unsentimental if admiring analysis, provides answers: A good idea transformed into a novel business model, passion, commitment, good judgment, particularly in the early years, and great people. Another Charley Ellis book to treasure."

—Sir Winfried Bischoff, Chairman, Lloyds Banking Group

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Foreword ix

Introduction xi

I. Achieving Excellence

Chapter 1: Mission 3

An Inspiring Long–Term Purpose

Chapter 2: Culture 25

How We Do Things around Here

Chapter 3: Recruiting 47

Getting the Right People

Chapter 4: Developing People 65

Training, Educating, and Organizing for Excellence

Chapter 5: Client Relationships 97

Developing Ties That Last

Chapter 6: Innovation 111

Changing How the Game Is Played

Chapter 7: Macro Innovation 133

Changing the Game

Chapter 8: Leadership 151

Bringing the Secrets Together

Chapter 9: . . . and Luck 173

Sometimes It Really Matters

II. Sustaining Excellence

Chapter 10: Trouble 181

Excellence Challenged

Chapter 11: Arthur Andersen 211

Excellence Lost

Afterword 245

Thanks 249

Notes 251

About the Author 285

Index 287

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Charles D. Ellis was for three decades managing partner of Greenwich Associates, the international business strategy consulting firm. A popular teacher, he has taught advanced courses on investing at the business schools of both Harvard and Yale, is the author of fifteen books, including the bestselling Winning the Loser′s Game, has served on the governing boards of Yale University, Harvard Business School, Exeter, NYU Stern, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and chairs the Whitehead Institute.

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