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McKinsey's Marvin Bower: Vision, Leadership, and the Creation of Management Consulting

ISBN: 978-0-471-65285-4
320 pages
April 2004


"I had the privilege of working closely with Marvin and McKinsey for many years. This book makes Marvin come to life and perpetuates him as a role model."
-Peter F. Drucker

"A wonderful book about a wonderful man. In many ways, Marvin's McKinsey framed the hypotheses in our own search for excellence-for example, passion for values, belief in people as the prime resource, and willingness to let people experiment. As well as I thought I knew Marvin, however, this remarkable book, drawing on the collective memories of those who worked most closely with him, taught me a ton about how extraordinary the man really was and what made him that way. Many have called Drucker the man who invented management; I think history will conclude that both he and Marvin Bower share that pedestal."
-Bob Waterman, coauthor of In Search of Excellence

"Marvin Bower became a legend, not just within McKinsey & Company, but within professional services and the business world more broadly. In everything he did and said, he embodied the professional approach and the importance of values. This book sheds remarkable insight on a remarkable man and on the power of constancy of purpose."
-Ian Davis, Worldwide Managing Director, McKinsey & Co.

"It is as Marvin would have wanted it-simple, honest, fact-based, wonderful stories with a long-term perspective. An insightful read about the father of management consulting."
-Lois Juliber, retired COO, Colgate-Palmolive

"This book provides fascinating insight into the early days of modern management consulting. It is an extremely enlightening look at the origin of one of America's most important professions and one of America's most innovative leaders."
-Thomas H. Lee, founder, Chairman, and President, Thomas H. Lee Partners L.P.
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Table of Contents



PART I: Translating a Vision into Reality.

CHAPTER 1: Marvin Bower.

CHAPTER 2: The Vision.

CHAPTER 3: The Profession and the Institution.

CHAPTER 4: Defining Moments of Leadership and Influence.

PART II: A Leader’s Leader.

CHAPTER 5: The Bower Reach.

CHAPTER 6: Inspiring Organizational Courage.

CHAPTER 7: Educating a Generation of Leaders.


APPENDIX A: Timeline.

APPENDIX B: Brief Biography.

APPENDIX C: McKinsey & Co. Partners’ Conference, 1964.




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Author Information

ELIZABETH HAAS EDERSHEIM worked for more than a year with Bower, completing the manuscript shortly before his death. Edersheim holds a PhD from MIT and worked at McKinsey from 1979 to 1988. She was the first woman partner in the Cleveland office and was a global leader of the firm’s operations and manufacturing practices. After leaving McKinsey, Dr. Haas Edersheim founded New York Consulting Partners, Inc., and was the managing director for thirteen years until the firm was sold. She is now a strategic advisor to a number of companies, currently working with three Fortune 500 companies. She has written numerous articles for publications including the the New York Times, the Harvard Business Review, and the Wall Street Journal.
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The Wiley Advantage

The true story of Mckinsey & Coâ??s founding father. -Introduces readers to Bowerâ??s legacy and his impact on countless other CEOsâ??both past and present. -Explores the ethical philosophy by which Bower led both his private and public life. -Written by a well-respected author, who has full access to Bowerâ??s personal letters, files, and writings.
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“As well as being an excellent biography, it is the best handbook on leadership that has been published for many years.” (Professional Manager, Vol.13, No.6, November 2004)

“Read this book if you really want to understand what makes McKinseyites tick.” (Business Voice- The CBI Magazine, September 2004)

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