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Remember Who You Are: Life Stories That Inspire the Heart and Mind Hardcover – May 12, 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Wademan, a former investment banker and Harvard Business School alumna, was so affected by her distinguished professors' parting anecdotes and advice to graduating students that she wanted to share their informal speeches with a wider audience. Intimate anecdotes, such as Kent Bowen's recollection of his gifted mother working as a janitor to support her children, and more humorous reminiscences, such as Rosabeth Moss Kanter's claiming a resemblance to Katharine Hepburn during a teleconference, remind aspiring business gurus that character is an asset that can't be taught. The faculty members' anecdotes and wise advice were originally addressed to business students who would likely assume prominent leadership positions in the industry, so most of their 15 speeches advise the ambitious go-getters to remain humble and compassionate. And as Professor Jai Jaikumar urges, would-be leaders must remember that "success is born in good fortune, and obligation is born in success." As a result, this book would be most useful to those who are in management positions, but the stories will resonate with anyone who seeks the fine balance between professional growth and personal development.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"The book’s stories are sprinkled with humor and dusted with drama." -- Foreward Magazine, July/August 2004

"These stories capture the essence of workplace relationships, where we can find inspiration…and who is really a hero." -- Copley News Service, June 2004
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; First Edition edition (May 12, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591392845
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591392842
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 4.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dennis Littrell HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The stories are beautifully written, artfully presented, and painstakingly edited and polished. Some of them could win Best Personal Essay contests were they to be presented as such. They are eminently readable; in fact it was a delight to read them.
Let me put it this way: If you have a young person interested in a business career or a thirty-something loved one climbing up the corporate ladder, slip this little gem of a book into their unread copy of the Wall Street Journal and they'll have it read before morning and wake up with amazement in their eyes.
Reading this book is a little like going to the Harvard School of Business. Daisy Wademan has selected fifteen life-changing stories told by business professors at Harvard. She has guided these stories into a form very much like that of the 15-minute personal-experience lecture that typically signals the close of a class before the final exam and before the applause. They are story/lectures from the heart and from the mind, told by people who know what they are talking about. They have excellent ideas and the commitment of true teachers who want to help and to guide.
The first story, "A Fall Before Rising" by Jai Jaikumar is about mountain climbing and the day his foot went through the snow in the Himalayas at close to 24,000 feet, and of the consequent 60-mile-per-hour ride down part of the side of the mountain, and then a 24-hour trek through snow and ice apparently on a broken hip until he fell into the arms of a peasant woman who fed him and then carried him--literally carried him--for three days to a doctor.
The second story by Jeffrey F.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was inspired by the Harvard Business School tradition of sharing life lessons with students in the final class. Ms. Daisy Wademan, a recent graduate in 2002, collected a number of these stories as shared in final classes and in many cases rewrote them to fit into this wise volume. In other cases, the professors wrote and polished the stories themselves.
At its best, the essays in this book are among the most compelling that I have ever read. At its weakest, Remember Who You Are's essays remind me of the most boring moments I have spent in a classroom. With stronger editing, this could have been a knock-out of a book. As it is, the book is very valuable . . . and will be a five-star offering for any Harvard Business School graduate who wants a quick course in key life lessons. I graded the book down one star as being less relevant for those who did not attend Harvard Business School. To have met that standard, the book's stories would have had to have been geared for those involved in less exalted roles than Harvard Business School professors and alumni. As a side note, I took two courses there in marketing while studying law at Harvard Law School so I have a foot inside the camp as well as one outside of it.
Each essay describes a defining moment in a professor's life, and the epiphany that resulted from that defining moment. Unfortunately, the defining moments sometimes had a little too much to do with being a good student . . . and becoming a good professor rather than focusing on how to become an effective person in a business career.
The most universal business story in the book is "A Bad Meal, and the Truth" by Stephen P. Kaufman a professor since 2001 who is the former long-time CEO of Arrow Electronics.
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Format: Hardcover
At Harvard Business School one of the traditions has been to spend some time on the last day of classes delivering a talk to your students about how to create a good life as a leader. Often these speeches leave the students encouraged and with a deeper understanding of their role in business and in life. Author Daisy Wademan, a graduate of Harvard Business School, has collected some of these talks into her new book "Remember Who You Are". It is a collection of fifteen of what she considers the most influential speeches from her professors. For each one there is a short vignette about the professor followed by the actual speech. Each speech is only a few pages long and takes only a couple of minutes to read but could influence your leadership skills for years. "Remember Who You Are" is a recommended read for anyone in a leadership position or who hopes to be there.
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Format: Hardcover
Is this book destined for the best seller's list? Probably not...but anyone who reads it will read it again.
This is a solid piece of work, an amazing collection of stories wherein the reader can reflect on their own life and career and be inspired.
Beyond inspiration, the stories are also a very telling of the professors who have spent decades training the world's current and next generation of leaders at Harvard Business School. You can just imagine Wademan talking with these professors, soaking in their every word as they talk about what is important to them, what they make sure every student hears of them. And a relief: when exposed to these professors, the money-greedy stereotype of the the MBA goes out the window.
A perfect book for anyone thinking about their career, in school or in transition, or those looking to be better leaders in whatever they do.
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