Common Purpose: How Great Leaders Get Organizations to Achieve the Extraordinary
December 2009, Jossey-Bass
From one of the most respected names in business and leadership, a rare look at the specifics of how great leaders achieve "common purpose" and success within their organizations.
What is common purpose? It is that rare, almost-palpable experience that happens when a leader coalesces a group, team or community into a creative, dynamic, brave and nearly invincible we. It happens the moment the organization's values, tools, objectives and hopes are internalized in a way that enables people to work tirelessly toward a goal. Common purpose is rarely achieved. But Kurtzman has observed that when a leader is able to bring it about, the results are outsized, measurable and inspiring.
- Based on Kurtzman's all-new interviews with more than 50 leaders, including Ron Sargent, Ilene Lang, Micky Arison, Simon Cooper, Joel Klein, Janet Field, Steve Wynn, Shivan Subramaniam, Michael Dell, Richard Boyatzis, Tom Kelley, Michael Milken, and Warren Bennis
- Contains research on leadership Kurtzman has conducted during his years at The New York Times, the Harvard Business Review, Booz & Company, as well as with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Mercer, and Korn/Ferry
Based on all new interviews with some of the most dynamic, successful, and enduring leaders, Common Purpose sheds new light on the meaning of leadership, the crucial qualities of leaders, and most importantly, how to lead.
Introduction: No One Leads Alone.
1 The Leadership Disconnect.
2 The New Rules of Employment.
3 Leaders at All Levels.
4 Internalizing What the Organization Stands For.
5 The Best Leaders Are Part of the Group.
6 Cultivating Curiosity, Not Complacency.
7 Creating a Culture of Leadership.
8 We’re All in This Together.
9 How Leaders Stay Positive and Determined.
10 Leading Is a Mental Game.
11 Different Strokes for Different Generations.
12 You Don’t Have to Be Ruthless to Lead.
13 Ideas Matter.
Epilogue: The Future of Leadership.
A Leadership Library.
About the Author.
Joel Kurtzman is chairman of the Kurtzman Group, a research and consulting firm focusing on issues relating to knowledge management, strategy, economic development, global risk, and thought leadership. He is a senior fellow at the Milken Institute and publisher of The Milken Institute Review, a member of the editorial board of MIT Sloan Management Review, and a senior fellow at Wharton's SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management. He is also an advisor to the World Economic Forum and to the U.S. Council on Competitiveness. Previously, he was the editor of Harvard Business Review, founder and editor of strategy + business magazine, a columnist at Fortune, and an editor and columnist at The New York Times. For more than 30 years, Kurtzman has interviewed, worked with, and consulted to the CEOs of some of the world's largest companies.
For more information, please visit www.kurtzmangroup.com.
"Through well-told anecdotes and strong logic, Kurtzman convincingly demonstrates that the essence of leadership is the ability to forge, from a disparate group of individuals, "a creative, dynamic, brave and nearly invincible we." How does one do that? Not by stepping out in front of the group, describing a vision, and leading the charge forward. Rather, Kurtzman's ideal leader is deep in the mix of the organization, causing its values, objectives, and approaches to be internalized by decision makers at every level." (Harvard Business Review, January-February 2010)