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Passion and Purpose: Stories from the Best and Brightest Young Business Leaders Hardcover – 1 Dec 2011

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (1 Dec. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422162664
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422162668
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.3 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 784,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"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 (

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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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Format: Hardcover
Think about it. The quotation I selected for the title of this review, provided by the cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead, has been true for thousands of years. A "small group of people" launched each of what are now the world's largest religious and corporations, for example, and also achieved freedom and independence for countless people throughout the world, including those in thirteen English colonies. However different these small groups may be in most respects, all of them had leaders driven by vision, passion, and purpose.

What we are offered in this volume are contributions from 26 of what the co-authors characterize as "the best and brightest young business leaders." John Coleman, Daniel Gulati, and W. Oliver Segovia are not being facetious, as was David Halberstam in The Best of the Brightest (1993) when he castigates, for example, Robert McNamara and McGeorge Bundy. They admire and respect all of those featured, as will most readers after reading the personal accounts of what fuels the young leaders' passion and enlightens their purpose.

Coleman, Gulati, and Segovia also include interviews of seven prominent leaders: David Gergen (adviser to four presidents and Director of Harvard's Center for Public Leadership), Dominic Barton (Global Managing Director of McKinsey & Company), Deb Henretta (CEO, Procter & Gamble Asia), Carter Roberts (CEO, World Wildlife Fund), Joe Kennedy (CEO and President of Pandora), Rich Lyons (Dean, Haas Business School, University of California-Berkeley), and Nitin Nohria (Dean, Harvard Business School). Readers thus have 31 quite different sources of information, insights, and counsel when working their way through the lively and eloquent as well as informative narrative.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x95a746c0) out of 5 stars 23 reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x957dbe7c) out of 5 stars An agreeable and relevant study into the nature of leadership 5 Dec. 2011
By George M. Hiller Jr. - Published on
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.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9648be1c) out of 5 stars Somewhat interesting, but formulaic 31 Jan. 2012
By Russell - Published on
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.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96b78474) out of 5 stars Fantastic book full of inspiring and insightful stories 11 Dec. 2011
By John Anthony - Published on
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x958f7294) out of 5 stars Something For Everyone 27 Dec. 2011
By Ryan Treft - Published on
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."
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x958f72c4) out of 5 stars Interesting and Insightful 3 Dec. 2011
By john - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think the authors have taken a very interesting and insightful look at the challenges of leadership in the changing world we live in. I found the passion of these young people as they related their stories in the interviews to be encouraging and hopeful. As older people we always look for positive examples from the next generation. I found those positive examples in these young leaders. Well written and well worth the time spent reading it. I am going to recommend Passion and Purpose to my friends.
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