Qty:1
  • List Price: $27.95
  • Save: $4.88 (17%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by intouch68
Condition: Used: Very Good
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Purpose: The Starting Point of Great Companies Hardcover – October 3, 2006


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$23.07
$3.48 $0.01

Frequently Bought Together

Purpose: The Starting Point of Great Companies + It's Not What You Sell, It's What You Stand For: Why Every Extraordinary Business Is Driven by Purpose
Price for both: $35.28

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Trade; First Edition edition (October 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1403975817
  • ISBN-13: 978-1403975812
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.9 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #557,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Leadership consultant Mourkogiannis calls upon CEOs to invest their companies with high-minded ideas rather than strictly bottom-line concerns by discovering their "Purpose." But the definition of Purpose remains vague throughout this rhapsodical account-it's a kind of "moral DNA" that affects-but should not be mistaken for-corporate mission, vision, values and identity. Centered on case studies of five entrepreneurs-Henry Ford, Tom Watson, Sam Walton, Siegmund Warburg, and Warren Buffett-who "were driven by Purpose to innovate in a radical way," the volume makes philosophical rather than concrete links between Purpose and morale, innovation, competitive strategy and branding. The connection between Purpose and success, for example, is hardly buttressed by Mourkogiannis's examples. He laments, for instance, that Wal-Mart has gone astray since Walton's death-and yet the company remains hugely profitable. The author urges CEOs to aim for "the satisfaction that comes from yoking good corporate citizenship and high purpose to produce record profits and a noble place in the eyes of the world," but his pie-in-the-sky, Nietzschean principles may provoke less action than soul-searching. With a foreword by Roger Fisher, author of Getting to Yes.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

". . . filled with 'Aha!' moments . . ."
--The Dallas Morning News
 
"The book is rarely dull and makes some refreshing points about the value of integrity and having a genuine vision of one's business."
--Los Angeles Times
 
"A thoughtful, passionate book about a subject that is at once very simple and highly complex . . . Mourkogiannis' thinking, and prose, are wise throughout."
--Financial Executive
 
"Purpose is a book that will engage readers with the simplicity of explaining one key word, and the sophistication of a philosophy built on the classic moral ideas of Aristotle, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Hume."
--Connecticut Business Times
 
"Challenging and thought-provoking."
--Accounting & Business Magazine
 
"Compelling. . . . the role of moral purpose in business is important; this book helps to illuminate it and has a stimulating chapter on how to apply the notions to leadership."
--The Globe and Mail
 
"This book will change the way you look at your work and your life."
--800-CEO-READ
 
"Shows how to harness the power of purpose to energize an organization."
--Abstracts of Public Administration, Development, and Environment (APADE)
 
"At a time when the public holds business in such low esteem, Purpose shows leaders how to restore confidence and make money at the same time. Nikos Mourkogiannis's message is informed, interesting, inspiring, and much-needed worldwide."
--Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School and author of
Confidence: How Winning Streaks and Losing Streaks Begin and End

"Nikos Mourkogiannis has provided incumbent and aspiring leaders with the needed counterbalance to Bossidy's Execution. Execution, absent Purpose, can drive once-great enterprises off the cliff and once-great armies into chaos and destruction. This book reminds leaders of the importance of taking stock of the legacy which has made great businesses great, while renewing the values and character required to flourish for a new era."
--Dr. Jeffrey A. Sonnenfeld, Lester Crown Professor in the Practice of Management and Senior Associate Dean for Executive Programs, Yale School of Management

"Mourkogiannis has written an outstanding and very readable book describing the qualities of leadership that are essential to create great companies and keep them great. It is important reading for all entrepreneurs and business executives and those who would like to be."
--Martin Lipton, Partner of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

"Inspiring a large global organization with a common purpose whilst respecting its diversity is high on the agenda of top management. Nikos Mourkogiannis's Purpose sheds light on the importance and practice of defining and embedding a sense of purpose in an organization and, thereby, of aligning the interests of its strategic stakeholders. I recommend the reading of this outstanding book."
--Dr. Josef Ackermann, CEO, Deutsche Bank

"Mourkogiannis has artfully uncovered the essence of greatness in all great companies with the concept of purpose. Most importantly, he has brought this critical concept to life in a most powerful and approachable fashion."
--Douglas R. Conant, President and CEO, Campbell Soup Company

"Purpose is the missing piece in the corporate jigsaw of success, often overlooked by companies big and small and their employees. Nikos Mourkogiannis provides a compelling and gripping account of why this is so important, so impactful, and so inspiring. This book made me stop and reconsider my organization and I am sure it will do this same with many other CEOs."
--Euan Sutherland, CEO, A.S. Watson UK

"Nikos is a world-class thinker. In this book he reinvents leadership and shows what great companies have in common."
--Jacob Rothschild

"An essential resource for today' business leaders and for the next generation as they face the fresh challenges of this new century."
--Roger Fisher, from the foreword

"At this time, when the credibility of American CEOs has been drowned by greed, here is a roadmap for future leaders in whose wisdom the fate of the world rests. The notes and bibliography alone are worth a read--buy this book!"
--Robert A.G. Monks, co-author of Corporate Governance

"For the pharmaceutical industry, purpose is central. Mourkogiannis makes clear how we can use purpose to draw on the passion of our people to save and improve lives."
--Dr. Daniel Vasella, CEO, Novartis

"Mourkogiannis has it right: the organizations with a moral purpose are the long-term winners because they are motivated by something more powerful than money."
--Chris Hohn, Chairman of The Children's Investment Fund

"Nikos Mourkogiannis makes a powerful argument for purpose and its role. So many of engage the head, but so few really engage the heart and the moral convictions of our people. Who doesn't want this in their work? I think this thesis is as important for leaders as anything we do."
--Bracken Darrell, President, Braun

"Mourkogiannis can make things happen, because he really knows how business works."
--Professor Dr. Wolfgang Reitzle, CEO, Linde AG
 
"Nikos describes the importance of Purpose in corporate life in compellingly persuasive terms. Companies with firm purpose both have self-respect and command respect from outside and are far and away the best placed to generate and leverage the benefits of globalization. Beautifully written and required reading."
--Sir David Walker, Senior Adviser, Morgan Stanley International Ltd.

"Nikos Mourkogiannis builds on the concept of pride and explains why creating Purpose is the cornerstone of so many great companies. Great visionaries have built phenomenally successful businesses by rallying front-line workers around their Purpose in ways that connect to the work itself."
--Jon Katzenbach, KPL Katzenbach Partners LLC

"Mourkogiannis glides beautifully on the razor¿s edge of where we are in the current reality of the business world today. Purpose is the future practice that is here now. You will find insight that will help you become more aware and centered on the realities of practicing in today's global business environment."
--Louis Carter, President and CEO, Best Practice Institute
 
"Building on vast experience, Mourkogiannis analyzes what drives action and adds a new dimension to leadership. A truly inspirational piece of work."
--Thomas Thune Andersen, CEO, Maersk Oil and Partner, A.P. Moller Maersk

"An overriding sense of purpose is hard to achieve, and hard to change once achieved, but potentially transformational in its implications, as Nikos Mourkogiannis's book so persuasively demonstrates."
--Pankaj Ghemawat, Professor, Harvard Business School

"Across a broad array of industries and businesses, Nikos Mourkogiannis has made a substantial impact; he has an inquisitive mind with exceptional mental agility. He has turned many companies, in loss-making circumstances, into winners in this field. In Purpose he reveals many of the processes that have brought his clients success."
--Sir Jackie Stewart
 
"Enduring institutions--those that have stood the test of time--create value for society and base their code of conduct on values. In this context, Purpose is far more than the starting point of great companies, it is the centerline that guides institutions to greatness and significance over time. Nikos Mourkogiannis shows leaders the way to set direction and navigate the tides of growth and change."
--Ralph W. Shrader, Ph.D., Chairman & CEO, Booz Allen Hamilton  
 
"What a rich and enjoyable book! Mourkogiannis's ability to explain with great clarity the pre-eminence and enduring nature of purpose is remarkably inspiring in itself."
--Michel Accad, Division Head, Middle East & North Africa, Citibank
 
"Mourkogiannis reinvents strategy by anchoring it to purpose. Strategy that has no purpose is merely tactics; true transformation of an organization depends upon the principles described in Mourkogiannis's book."
--Dr. Reto Francioni, CEO, Deutsche Borse
 
"This book makes you think and think again.  It deals with the most fundamental issue of combining success and acceptance. And there is no way to avoid this debate. A must read."
--Ben Verwaayen, Chief Executive Officer, BT
 
"Books on business usually arouse very little interest. This one is different and is a book for business in our time. I urge all business leaders from companies of any size to read this and more to the point, take its messages on board, for themselves and their colleagues."
--Sir Colin Chandler, Chairman, easyJet PLC

"Nikos Mourkogiannis's book brings us back to the central strategic question--the quality of purpose--and grounds it in an exciting analysis of great companies that performed well across the decades. Moral values and social purpose are rediscovered playing a vital role."
--Professor Joseph L. Brower, Harvard Business School

"Through his vast global business experience, Nikos Mourkogiannis offers fascinating stories and insights on the role of purpose in business success. This book will inspire CEOs, aspiring CEOs, and students of business everywhere."
--Donald T. Phillips, author of Lincoln On Leadership and On The Wing of Speed

"Nikos is the genuine Philosopher Consultant--with him you gain completely new insights."
--Sir John Parker, Chairman, P&O and National Grid
 
"A very insightful book which goes to the core of institutions' true identities and what they stand for. We need more of Nikos's initiatives, which give thorough analyses yet offers a truly enjoyable reading."
--Abdel Hamid Shoman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Arab Bank PLC
 
"Nikos Mourkogiannis has written an outstanding and very readable book describing the qualities of leadership that are essential to create great companies and keep them great.  It is important reading for all entrepreneurs and business executives and those who would like to be."
--Martin Lipton, Partner of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
 
"Nikos has it right, the organizations with a moral purpose are the long term winners because they are motivated by something more powerful than money."
--Chris Hohn, Chairman of The Children's Investment Fund
 
"Purpose is timely. Dialogue today is dominated ¿ no drowned ¿ by the language of economics. Mourkogiannis gives us an elegant new language. Most important, at this time when the credibility of American CEOs has been drowned by greed, here is a road map for future leaders in whose wisdom the fate of the world rests. The notes and bibliography alone are worth a read -- buy this book!"
--Robert A.G. Monks, co-author with Nell Minow of Corporate Governance
 
"Building on vast experience, Nikos analyses what drives action and adds a new dimension to leadership -- a truly inspirational piece of work"
--Thomas Thune Andersen, CEO Maersk Oil, Partner A.P. Moller Maersk.
 
"Inspiring a large global organization with a common purpose whilst respecting its diversity is high on the agenda of top management. Nikos Mourkogiannis' Purpose sheds light on the importance and practice of defining and embedding a sense of purpose in an organization and thereby, of aligning the interests of its strategic stakeholders. I recommend the reading of this outstanding book."
--Dr Josef Ackermann, CEO Deutsche Bank

"An overriding sense of purpose is hard to achieve, and hard to change once achieved, but potentially transformational in its implications ¿ as Nikos Mourkogiannis's book so persuasively demonstrates.¿
--Pankaj Ghemawat, Harvard Business School Professor
 
"Nikos has artfully uncovered the essence of greatness in all great companies with the concept of purpose. Most importantly, he has brought this critical concept to life in a most powerful and approachable fashion."
--Douglas R. Conant, President and CEO, Campbell Soup Company
 
"Nikos Mourkogiannis¿ book brings us back to the central strategic question -- the quality of purpose -- and grounds it in an exciting analysis of great companies that performed well across the decades.  Moral values and social purpose are rediscovered playing a vital role."
--Professor Joseph L. Bower, Harvard Business School
 
"Nikos can make things happen, because he really knows how business works."
--Professor Dr. Wolfgang Reitzle, CEO, Linde AG
 
"Through his vast global business experience, Nikos Mourkogiannis offers fascinating stories and insights on the role of purpose in business success.  This book will inspire CEOs, aspiring CEOs, and students of business everywhere."
--Donald T. Phillips, author, Lincoln On Leadership and On The Wing of Speed
 
"Nikos glides beautifully on the razor¿s edge of where we are in the current reality of the business world today.  Purpose is the future practice that is here now. You will find insight that will help you become more aware and centered on the realities of practicing in today¿s global business environment."
--Louis Carter, President and CEO, Best Practice Institute
 
"Companies that want a company to last should build them on ideas that have lasted.  Nikos Mourkogiannis makes a powerful argument for purpose and its role.  So many of us engage the head, but so few really engage the heart and the moral convictions of our people.  Who doesn't want this in their work?  I think this thesis is as important for leaders as anything we do."
--Bracken Darrell, President, Braun
 
"Nikos describes the importance of 'purpose' in corporate life in compellingly persuasive terms.  Companies with firm purpose have both self respect and command respect from outside and are far and away the best placed to generate and leverage the benefits of globalization.  Beautifully written and required reading."
--Sir David Walker, Senior Adviser, Morgan Stanley International Ltd
 
"For the pharma industry purpose is central. Mourkogiannis makes clear how we can use this purpose to draw on the passion of our people to save and improve lives." 
--Daniel Vasella, M.D., Chairman and CEO, Novartis AG
 
"Nikos Mourkogiannis builds on the concept of Pride and explains why creating Purpose is the cornerstone of so many great companies. Great visionaries have built phenomenally successful businesses by rallying front-line workers around their Purpose in ways that connect to the work itself." 
--Jon Katzenbach, KPL Katzenbach Partners LLC  

"Nikos Mourkogiannis has provided incumbent and aspiring leaders with the needed counterbalance to Bossidy's Execution. Execution, absent Purpose, can drive once great enterprises off the cliff and once great armies into chaos and destruction. This book reminds leaders of the importance of taking stock of the legacy which has made great businesses great, while renewing the values and character required to flourish for a new era." 
--Dr Jeffrey A Sonnenfeld, Lester Crown Professor in the Practice of Management and Senior Associate Dean for Executive Programs, Yale School of Management.
 
"What a rich and enjoyable book! Mourkogiannis' ability to explain with great clarity the pre-eminence and enduring nature of purpose, is remarkably inspiring in itself."
--Michel Accad, Division head, Middle East & North Africa, Citibank
 
"This book makes you think and think again.   It deals with the most fundamental issue of combining success and acceptance.  And there is no way to avoid this debate. A must read."
--Ben Verwaayen, Chief Executive Officer, BT
 
"Books on business usually arouse very little interest. This one is different and is a book for business in our time. I urge all business leaders from companies of any size to read this and more to the point, take its messages on board, for themselves and their colleagues"
--Sir Colin Chandler,  Chairman,   easyJet plc
 
"Purpose is the missing piece in the corporate jigsaw of success, often overlooked by companies big and small and their employees. Nikos Mourkogiannis provides a compelling and gripping account of why this is so important, so impactful and so inspiring. This book made me stop and reconsider my organisation and I am sure it will do this same with many other CEOs."
--Euan Sutherland, CEO A.S. Watson UK.  (Owners of Superdrug, Savers, The Perfume Shop in the UK)
 
"Enduring institutions -- those that have stood the test of time ¿ create value for society and base their code of conduct on values.  In this context, Purpose is far more than the starting point of great companies, it is the centerline that guides institutions to greatness and significance over time.  Nikos Mourkogiannis shows leaders the way to set direction and navigate the tides of growth and change."
--Ralph W. Shrader, Ph.D,  Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Booz Allen Hamilton  

"A very insightful book which goes to the core of institutions' true identities and what they stand for. We need more of Nikos' initiatives which give thorough analyses yet offers a truly enjoyable reading." 
--Mr Abdel Hamid Shoman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,  Arab Bank plc

"Nikos makes an excellent link between Purpose -- the ultimate destination for yourself and your organisation -- and effective leadership.  This will offer a lot to business leaders including the leaders of the shipping industry."
--Captain Panagiotis Tsakos, Chairman of the Tsakos Group, Chairman of Lloyd's Register's Hellenic Advisory Committee.

"I loved this book! I hope it is a best seller. It deserves to be.  It is far better than 99% of the business books that become best sellers."
--John P Mackey, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Whole Foods Market Inc.
 
"This is a well-written, engaging, practical book describing the pivotal need for the understanding and sharing of PURPOSE, if the leader is to achieve optimal performance from the organisation.  The bibliography and the references to philosophy are in themselves good reasons to buy this book".
--Dr Neville Bain, Chairman, Institute of Directors

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
5
4 star
2
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 7 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Obviously, there is a direct link between motivation and purpose, and, between purpose and behavior. Obviously, motives, purposes, and behavior varied significantly among those centrally involved in events which occurred on September 11, 2001. Some flew planes into buildings to kill as many people and create as much damage as possible; others (passengers aboard United flight 93) sacrificed their own lives to save others'. My point is, that there are all kinds of purposes...and then there is Purpose as Nikos Mourkogiannis defines it: "Purpose is your moral DNA. It's what you believe without having to think. It's the answer you give when you're asked for the right - as opposed to the factually correct - answer."

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 ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Wendy St Clair Pearson on February 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book's singular message is this: to succeed and win, great companies need to have a purpose that has a moralistic bent to it that everyone can jump on board with and follow. This purpose will drive your strategy and values (which will come effortlessly after you figure out what your purpose is.)

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 ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Valtin on April 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nikos Mourkogiannis nails it down with this book, PURPOSE. A very well written, informative and no non-sense work which will inspire every purpose-driven entrepreneur. I personally appreciated a lot the chapter "Purpose and Morale." This is so true that people will work harder and better in a purpose-driven environment. In my 20+ years of experience in training and coaching business owners from all over the world, I have observed and witnessed what a good, strong and ethical purpose can do to a business and its employees.

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.

Patrick Valtin,
President/CEO M2-TEC USA, Inc.
Author of the book "No Fail Hiring."
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli HALL OF FAME on October 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
While billions of people go to work daily, few have any sense of the ideals that drive their companies. That's no surprise. Few companies have any. Enter Nikos Mourkogiannis, with this inspirational and informative book on one of the business world's biggest problems. Companies without a purpose are rudderless, which is a problem for shareholders, employees, suppliers and customers. "Purpose" is a difficult concept to explain because it is so abstract, but patient readers will benefit from Mourkogiannis' insights and research. He occasionally gets bogged down in philosophical discussion, which he has trouble connecting to his profiles of purposeful business leaders. Nevertheless, his detours are tolerable, since they ultimately lead you to a new view of leadership. We recommend this study to CEOs, aspiring CEOs and iconoclastic business students.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Search