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If Harry Potter Ran General Electric: Leadership Wisdom from the World of the Wizards Hardcover – May 16, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; First Edition edition (May 16, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385517548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385517546
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Following his business bestseller If Aristotle Ran General Motors, former philosophy professor Morris piggybacks on the popularity of J.K. Rowling's novels, conjuring philosophical parallels between the heroics of her fictional world and success in the corporate realm. He parses her stories for what they might tell us about the importance of virtues and ethics in the business world, referring a little to Aristotle and Kierkegaard for philosophical weight, plus a dash of eloquent advice from GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt for real-life relevance. In Morris's view, Harry Potter is the embodiment of courage—"doing what's right, not what's easy"—and the author delineates five steps to this virtue (e.g., "surround yourself with support") for real-world application. A natural leader, Harry takes after Headmaster Dumbledore, an "Aristotelian figure" and "the essence of leadership," a quality Morris compares to alchemy, since good leaders "transform ordinary people into great performers." Though Morris writes with grace and imagination, this chatty meditation may feel redundant for Harry Potter fans, miss the mark with readers uninitiated to the world of the wizards and disappoint those looking for concrete discussion of real business situations. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Morris uses J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter themes and characters to provide a framework for his leadership lessons. Morris' formula for happiness is "contentment + fulfillment + pleasure + love," all illuminated with examples from the adventures of Harry Potter. Morris designates General Electric the symbol for major corporations, citing GE as a role model because it "seems to have been endowed with magic from its early beginnings." Effusive references to both Rowling and the company are woven into the text, yet it is unclear if either gave their blessing to Morris for this effort. Nevertheless, with the current popularity of the Harry Potter characters and the reputation of GE, Morris cleverly draws upon these high-profile entities to present his leadership ideas to business executives. Mary Whaley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

I'm a public philosopher who writes and speaks on business and life, focusing on ideas that have stood the test of time.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
This is one of the cleverest books I've ever read that, in some way, are Harry Potter related.
J. Lucio
Tom Morris has done a great job at teaching success and leadership principles while using Harry Potter and Dumbledore as the examples.
Jacob Paulsen
The book addresses the wisdom of the Harry Potter magical world and it's attributes within business leadership.
J. Seigler

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ed Brenegar on May 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If Harry Potter Ran General Electric is a bridge between the fantasy world of J.K Rowling's imagination and the world that business and professional people face every day. Both Rowling and author and public philosopher Tom Morris present us pictures of the ethical realities that both the young Harry and the rest of must address in order to be successful without losing our integrity.

Morris's book is more intentionally focused on leadership than his previous books. Whether you own a small business or staff a cubicle in a global corporation, there is something here for you. This isn't a formulaic approach to leadership. There is no leadership matrix revealed here, except that leadership is "always fundamentally a relational, interpersonal role"(p.152). Each chapter explores insights from the Harry Potter stories that illuminate the nature of leadership. Having spent two decades engaged with leaders and their development, I find Morris' perspective is right on the money. That perspective is that great leaders like Harry Potter and the headmaster of Hogwarts School, Albus Dumbledore, display the qualities of "high competence and deep character." (p.156). It is the deep character side of leadership that If Harry Potter Ran General Electric describes.

I've already bought two copies to give to young professionals who will be greatly encouraged by Morris' work. This is a book to share, discuss and celebrate.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By David Baggett on May 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is amazing! Morris has done it again, this time using his considerable talents to glean a ton of real-life wisdom and insight from Rowling's novels, without losing a bit of the fun. This is a top-notch philosopher who's also an obvious Potter fan, an incredible combination -- and the result is a highly readable and deeply enjoyable book. If you love either Harry Potter or philosophy, or if you want to learn a bunch of leadership principles applicable to just about any area of life, or if you just want to lose yourself in a great book and be challenged to think, you'll adore this book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ann Allyn Slessman on June 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Tom Morris has done it again! His latest book, If Harry Potter Ran General Electric, is an inexpensive means of obtaining Morris's great wisdom. It is likely that Tom Morris will join the ranks of the great stoics. No wonder the book has already hit a couple of bestseller lists, including the Wall Street Journal List!

Those who thought the Harry Potter books are unfit for their children to read should see Morris' take on the books. Where some think only of the trickery of witchcraft and magic, Morris looks at the wisdom, character, and the morality to be gained from reading Rowling's works. It is a study that would make a better corporate environment for anyone who implemented Morris' lessons into their work and everyday life.

Morris touches just about every realm of the human mind with clarity. He takes into account the bad with the good and suggests a means of turning the bad into good scenarios.

My mother used to say, "Be a problem solver, not a problem maker". Apparently, Tom Morris and JK Rowling had some of the same type of education from their parents.

This book ranks six stars out of a field of five stars. Every board room in the world should have it available to their management personnel. It is a real winner. Don't miss out!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Seigler on September 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book in preparation for LUMOS 2006, because Tom Morris was one of the keynote speakers. The book is great - Tom is obviously a true Harry Potter fan. The book addresses the wisdom of the Harry Potter magical world and it's attributes within business leadership. I attended his presentation at Lumos and found out that he is a great speaker too! Tom does a lot of business speaking to huge companies and really knows how to hold an audience. Also, I was lucky enough to catch Tom in the hall and got his autograph inside the book! Accio Wisdom!

As a business person and a "Harry Potter Fan" I highly recommend this book to those who are looking for another slant on the magical world of HP or for those business folk who are interested wisdom, virtue and ethics in the business world - but are bored with the stodgy navy suited red tied perspective.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Leah MacVie on December 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is at the top of my list. I went out and bought two other Tom Morris books because I loved this one so much. I truly believe that every high school student should have to read this book, and here's why: This book isn't just about the business world and being a good leader, it is also about finding your place, staying true to yourself, and making ethical choices. For the first time in my life I read about the differences in lies- when you should and when you shouldn't lie. Students need to also learn how to admit their mistakes, instead of digging themselves deeper in a hole by continuing to cover it up. Another thing students can relate to and take away from the book is a respect for rules- when you should obey them and why you should analyze them in every situation since each situation may require flexibility. Loved it!
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By Mommy2One on December 19, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book for a college-level ethics class. It isn't so much about business, as ethics in general. I would definitely consider reading his other book first, "If Aristotle Ran General Motors" - as it is referred to pretty often.
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