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Purpose: The Starting Point of Great Companies Hardcover – October 3, 2006
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Filled with 'Aha!' moments." -- Dallas Morning News
"Nikos Mourkogiannis shows leaders the way to set direction and navigate the tides of growth and change." -- --Ralph W. Shrader, Booz Allen Hamilton
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Mourkogiannis carefully organizes his material within three Parts. In the first, he introducing the dimensions of what he considers Purpose to be, explains its real value, and then suggests what Purpose is not. In the second, he shares "great stories" of Purpose, citing as examples, Thomas Watson, Sr., Warren Buffett, Sam Walton, Henry Ford, and Siegmund Warburg. Then in Part III, Mourkogiannis explains how Purpose builds greatness. And examines its relationship, indeed its interdependence with a high level of morale, breakthrough innovation, competitive advantage, effective leadership, and productive action.
Ford exemplifies those who have purposes which are both admirable and contemptible. When testifying as a defendant in a lawsuit, he was asked what he was trying to do. "Ford replied that he was trying to employ as many workers as he could, give them good wages, provide the public the benefit of a low-priced car, and `incidentally make money.'" He lost the case. However, over time, "Ford's Purpose devolved into a non-competitive strategy.Read more ›
This is different from the over-done and often useless "mission" and also different from the a-moralistic "vision" which sets out a path for the future. Purpose by contrast, puts a stake in the ground about what your company believes in at its core. Purpose is a direction for the company but not necessarily a snapshot of its destination. It provides a clear path whereby you can check all activities against (is what I'm doing in line w/ the purpose?).
Nikos argues that Purpose is not merely a motivational tool but an objective in itself that can be enduring. A company's purpose can change over time - perhaps with the change of leaders like Welch to Immelt (who went back to the "discovery" angle). Also leaders (like Steve Jobs) can take a purpose from company to company over his career.
The book takes you through the journey of defining what is a purpose vs. a mission and a vision, and gives you examples you can sink your teeth into. He lays out four main types of purpose and examples of companies that are each:
1) Discovery - rooted in intuition that life is a kind of adventure. Example: Apple and their goal to always come up with the new / most innovative products (esp. in comparison to Microsoft who clearly follows a different path).
2) Excellence - implies standards and purports the belief that excellent performance in our role in life represents the supreme good.Read more ›
I strongly recommend this book to every business starter as well as to every executive who works hard at raising his/her business competitiveness. It is a tough world out there and PURPOSE can help. In fact, if you duplicate Mr. Mourkogiannis' intentions and attempted message, you will definitely see a big change in your profitability.
President/CEO M2-TEC USA, Inc.
Author of the book "No Fail Hiring."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mourkogiannis' book is a triumph. He does two very difficult things well in Purpose: The Starting Point of Great Companies. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Jason A. Voss
All entrepreneurs should read this book. This book prompts business owners to focus on their ideas and the purpose of their company. Read morePublished on November 6, 2012 by Romeo Richards
The author makes a solid case for the importance of purpose for the long term success of any enterprise. He presents many cases to prove his case. I am convinced. Read morePublished on December 15, 2010 by Philip Henderson
Entrepreneurs who successfully create value for their customers, and more importantly---for society as a whole---are the ones who frequently achieve greatness. Read morePublished on December 3, 2009 by Larry Underwood
Mourogiannis title says it all - Purpose - the Starting Point of Great Companies.
He makes the case that purpose comes before strategy. Read more
I frequently meet with entrepreneurs who think they have great ideas. Most are great people, with useful ideas, but few have a uniquely defined purpose. Read morePublished on March 29, 2009 by AZ Book Fan
Nikos has identified four key components of the moral context in which work can be pursued in an ethically-conscious corporate culture. Read morePublished on April 14, 2007 by W. R. Hoecker