“This is the best book about corporate leadership that I've ever read. Charley Ellis really knows what he's talking about.”—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 in his usual wise simple and riveting story-telling style. And yes, simple doesn't mean easy.”—Abdullatif A. Al-Othman, Governor, Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority
“What It Takes is Ellis' finest work on organizational excellence. He has distilled the essential principles of organizational excellence, illustrating them with potent examples and memorable anecdotes. His intimate knowledge of the organizations, deepened by 300 interviewers with insiders, 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
“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 Myners, former UK Treasury Minister
“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
“What It Takes is a clear-eyed view into the complexities of building and sustaining great organizations. Charley Ellis’ 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 Group
“I cannot imagine anyone better qualified than Charley Ellis to analyze, identify and describe those characteristics which 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 any of the professions described and indeed 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' 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
What It Takes is the story of what sets the great professional firms, the acknowledged leaders in their industries, apart from all the rest. It is a blueprint for how to create, build, and maintain such a firm.
Having devoted a career that spans fifty years to consulting with and studying professional firms in the Americas, Asia, and Europe, and developing Greenwich Associates from start-up to global leader, author Charles Ellis learned firsthand how difficult it is for an organization to go beyond very good and attain, as well as sustain, excellence. Now, he shares his hard-won insights with you and reveals "what it takes" to be best-in-class in any industry.
Enlightening and entertaining, What It Takes explores firms that are leaders in their particular fieldfrom McKinsey & Company in consulting, Cravath, Swaine & Moore in law, Capital Group in investment management, the Mayo Clinic in healthcare, and Goldman Sachs in investment bankingand the superior people who create and maintain them, in order to identify the secrets of their long-term success.
While you might expect to find major differences, from industry to industry, in how the great firms set themselves apart, the principles they follow are few and nearly identical. What It Takes breaks them down and reveals exactly how they can put your organization in a better position to excel when properly executed. The stories of the people, their decisions, and their interactions found throughout these pages bring these seven keys to success to life:
And while What It Takes contains many stories of achieving excellence, this book also addresses the obstacles that top-ranking organizations face in sustaining excellence. It examines how several of these firms have handledand mishandledrecent mishaps and are struggling to right themselves. It also includes an instructive tale featuring Arthur Andersen & Co., a leader that stumbled and never made it back.
What It Takes skillfully shows you how innovation and a commitment to excellence can drive success, while also revealing how easy it is to fall behind. With it, you'll discover what separates the great firms from the good ones and learn how to attain, and maintain, organizational success throughout the years.
Charley Ellis assembles a readable set of fascinating interviews and anecdotes into a powerful case for principles-based leadership, particularly in professional services firms. Read morePublished 3 months ago by KDR
Live, good examples and cases. The book is an deep insight into the minds of successful PSF leaders and role models.Published 5 months ago by Vikram Chhachhi
I am ashamed that I spent money to purchase this book. I am ashamed that I spent time to read this book. Read morePublished 7 months ago by curiousgeorgette100
I bought this for a friend and she love it. She always wanted this book and I have been looking for it for awhile.Published 14 months ago by Akpomiemie Isiakpere
Charley Ellis, well known and very well respected author of many many books re: business (firms, histories, theories, practices) has, with What It Takes, hit another home run. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Mina W. Otis
The book is very interesting. I liked it and recomend for all. Everyone should read it. Great read for all !!!Published 16 months ago by Ruy Souza Silva
One of the bet biz books I've read. I've never switched to my browser to research companies & concepts mentioned like I have with what it takes.Published 16 months ago by strendo