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on July 9, 2015
"What it Takes" only deals with professional service firms. It deals with everything from values, hiring, compensation, culture, and service delivery.

Very few business books focus exclusively on professional service firms. As such, I've had difficulty applying the author's insights. Plus most business books that try and deal with professional services don't take into account the complexity inherent in these type of firms. Charles Ellis addresses complexity through detailed case studies, which helps provide the necessary context for applying (or not applying) an insight to my own firm. It's an easy and entertaining read that is well referenced and annotated. I highly recommend it.
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on February 22, 2014
The book is interesting but not great. The last chapter--the rise and fall of Arthur Anderson--makes the book worthwhile. The chapter is a cautionary tale of how a great company that focused on doing great work for its clients transformed into a mediocre company that focused on generating great profits for its partners. It will scare the bejeebers out of you. Read it several times if you care about your company.
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on August 6, 2015
This was a tedious read, not applicable for our particular industry. Some of these companies philosophy seem very outdated.
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on June 1, 2015
Insightful and engaging on successful professional firms
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on October 2, 2013
I have read other books by Charles Ellis and was expecting more. This book reviews several companies and what makes them so special. The book could have accomplished this in half the pages. It did not measure up to my expectations.
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on June 28, 2013
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. His excellent and fascinating discussions cover the Major Essentials for true success:
defining your Mission, being sure the firm's Culture supports that Mission, Recruiting people who understand the primary importance OF that Mission, Developing people's ability and eagerness to support the Mission, Focusing your firm's attention on their Clients, being open to mission-supportive Innovation and exercising steady, principled Leadership. These simple (but NOT EASY!!) principles apply equally well to Personal Behavior and to Family Life. Happily for his readers, Charley Ellis writes in a clear and well-focused discussion of his points, including some very very interesting examples. This is a Keeper, and a Re-reader, regardless of one's personal field(s) of life endeavor.
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on March 28, 2014
Live, good examples and cases. The book is an deep insight into the minds of successful PSF leaders and role models.
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on May 10, 2013
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.
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on May 20, 2013
The book is very interesting. I liked it and recomend for all. Everyone should read it. Great read for all !!!
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on July 9, 2013
I bought this for a friend and she love it. She always wanted this book and I have been looking for it for awhile.
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