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

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

Elizabeth Haas Edersheim

ISBN: 978-1-118-04014-0 December 2010 320 Pages




"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.


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.




“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)

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.