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Passion and Purpose: Stories from the Best and Brightest Young Business Leaders Hardcover – November 29, 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Leaders in each generation face several challenges that are quite different from those that confronted leaders in earlier generations and are also quite different from those that leaders in future generations will encounter. It was ever thus and always will be true. That is one of several reasons why I think so highly of this book.” — Blogging about Business (bobmorris.biz)

Featured on the J.P. Morgan Summer Reading List for 2012

"wholly infectious", and an "upbeat, enjoyable read—as well as a useful one.” – The Financial Times

“…the reader is rewarded with a richness of information and a great view of things to come in the business world, based on the stories of these young leaders. Summing Up: Recommended for students, upper-division undergraduate and up; faculty; practitioners.” — CHOICE

“Far from accounts of the stereotypical generation of entitled slackers, the stories in Passion and Purpose demonstrate the innovation, collaboration, efficiency, and independence of rising young leaders.” — Training + Development Magazine

“We’re introduced to a group of highly impressive MBAs who want to change the world for the better… The result is a surprisingly compelling array of vivid storytelling that reveals this generation’s ideas and aspirations.” “In the end, Coleman and his two buddies have pulled together a book that is less about mainstream MBA thinking than it is a clarion call to a less-traveled, yet potentially more impactful MBA path.” – John Byrne, Poets & Quants (PoetsandQuants.com)

About the Author

John Coleman earned an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was a Dean’s Award winner, and an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School, where he was a Zuckerman Fellow and a George Fellow. Daniel Gulati holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Fellow and an Arthur Rock Fellow, and is the founding CEO of FashionStake, a venture-backed fashion company. W. Oliver Segovia received an MBA with Distinction from Harvard Business School, and is an entrepreneur in the Philippines and Singapore, where he previously worked with Procter & Gamble Asia.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (November 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422162664
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422162668
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #880,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In an age and global business climate of increasing diversity, plurality, and complexity Passion and Purpose, written in a lucid and accessible style, offers a timely study into the activities and pursuits of young business leaders. The testimonial stories are refreshingly honest and transparent as emerging leaders, involved in a variety of different fields and work environments, candidly discuss their career goals and noble aspirations and also the inevitable obstacles and setbacks they have encountered along the way. These reflections yield valuable insights into the nature of risk, failure, and consequential decision making, along with the opportunities for the professional and personal growth that can result through tackling difficult problems and engaging with pressing business challenges head on. Most encouraging to me is that this group of MBAs seems to intuitively understand that what the global business culture of the future needs is principled servant leadership that rises above the pettiness of self-seeking narrow ambition and strives to bring out the best qualities in all whom they influence - Leadership that elevates the needs of our society as a whole. Examples of virtuous, sacrificial leadership cannot be shared often enough. Through undertaking this project John Coleman, Daniel Gulati, and W. Oliver Segovia have done the business world a most welcome service. I heartily recommend Passion and Purpose.
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Format: Hardcover
This book isn't bad, it's just not particularly good either, as it gets very formulaic. Each chapter is a series of stories from the personal lives of Harvard MBAs, with each chapter revolving around a given topic. The chapter ends with an interview from an expert on the subject. The interviews with experts are much more interesting than the stories from MBA students. The stories read like admissions essays; basically... I worked for an investment bank, made a ton of money, started a non-profit to try to do something meaningful, and now a Harvard MBA has/will help me do that. This is all well and good, but it doesn't serve to inspire the reader because the stories are not representative of a generation, rather a select few. The same content may have made an interesting blog or HBR article, but it doesn't work as a 200 page book.
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Format: Hardcover
It's an interesting proposition - take a bunch of business students who've done some really interesting things with their lives, and ask them to explain what motivates them, what they hope to achieve, and what they've learned as they've gone through the process. That, fundamentally, is what Passion & Purpose is about.

The broad section outlines work well (globalisation, sustainability, technology, diversity, learning, convergence) as beacons for the stories to be organised around. There are some truly uplifting stories in here - from reforming the Met to building a not-for-profit in Kenya. For insight into what's driving the next generation of young business folks - and insight into folks using business to improve the lives of people all around the world - Passion & Purpose is a great read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This really seems like some kind of pep talk book for students and grads, full of stories by other grads who seem rather full of themselves. Sure, there are some interesting stories, however, the reality that most grads should brace themselves for is rather more mundane corporate jobs where falling in line with the boss is more the norm. Defeat lye give this a miss if you're in the corporate world and in your thirties...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book discusses the axes current and future leaders must consider in building successful businesses. Those axes are: Convergence, Globalization, People, Sustainability, Technology and Learning. Through the stories of HBS graduates, the book explores different facets of each of those axes, emphasizing on why they are important and presenting specific experiences of how they've been implemented.
I find the structure of the book suitable to its purpose; it's at the intersection between a rigidly structured work and a story: So they are stories organized according to a specific structure.
Knowledge in Business Administration is sometimes required to fully grasp some insights of the book though this doesn't prevent from arriving at an honorable understanding of the subject matter. The book is also abundant with some by-products insights that any would-to-be businessperson will find useful.
I recommend it!
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Format: Hardcover
We all, to one degree or another, have an inherent desire to influence and lead in our own way. This book contains one inspiring story after another of GenY'ers who are leading, influencing, while making a real and positive difference in the world. If you don't buy this book, you should at least read the interview with David Gergen (pg. 47)who described the future of my generation. Here's a little taste...
"Don't be afraid of failure. The metaphor for my generation was 'climbing ladders'; the metaphor in your generation is increasingly "riding waves.' You have to ride waves as they go. You're often going to find them collapsing underneath you, and you have to ride the next one when it comes. That's the nature of careers today. Companies come and go quickly. People are CEOs for only - you know, a twinkling of an eye - and then they have to start over. And you've got to be prepared. I don't know what the latest numbers are in the Department of Labor, but a few years ago they were projecting that someone graduating with a degree today would hold at least seven or eight jobs over the course of a lifetime - three of which would not have been invented when they graduated college. It just goes back to bandwidth and adaptability. One must be prepared to take risks, to take the fall, pick yourself back up, and start again."
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