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Common Purpose: How Great Leaders Get Organizations to Achieve the Extraordinary
Mar 01, 2010


Available from Jossey-Bass, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.


The Milken Institute's Joel Kurtzman tackles the central question of leadership: 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 "Common Purpose: How Great Leaders Get Organizations to Achieve the Extraordinary" notes that when a leader is able to bring it about, the results are outsized, measurable and inspiring.

Read a review from The Washington Post or an excerpt from BusinessWeek.

Based on business and management expert Joel Kurtzman's 30 years of experience working with global thought leaders and institutions, "Common Purpose" features personal interviews with some of the most dynamic, successful and enduring leaders, including Joel Klein of New York City Schools, Simon Cooper of Ritz-Carlton, Ilene Lang of Catalyst, Steve Wynn of Wynn Resorts, Shivan Subramaniam of FM Global, Mickey Arison of Carnival Cruise Lines, Michael Dell of Dell Inc., Richard Boyatzis of Case Western Reserve University, Tom Kelley of IDEO, and distinguished professor and author Warren Bennis.

"Common Purpose" is available from Jossey-Bass, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

What others have said about "Common Purpose":

"Kurtzman writes with a glowing lucidity based on matters so important and meaningful, so indispensable and urgent, this book will become the template of success for 21st century institutions. Kurtzman constantly reminds us of what's important: that in this uniquely turbulent and uncertain time, when every organization is more vulnerable to a fragmented incoherence, we must collectively and courageously be open to freshly imagine new and different organizational realities and forms. This book inspired me enormously because I know of no other that illuminates the darkness on the path to the recovery of WE in a world still dominated by an obsolete, I-dated dystopia." -- Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business Administration, USC, and author of "On Becoming a Leader"

"Common Purpose is an insightful and useful road map for piloting a company to its full potential through aligning individual and corporate interests, empowering subordinates' talents and ideas, communicating candidly and listening intently, and inspiring pride in the younger generations on whom our future depends. If you're trying to figure out how to lead your company to stay ahead by anticipating change and sustaining growth, read this book." -- Rafael Pastor, Chairman and CEO, Vistage International