Item description for Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-Year-Old Company That Changed the World by Chris Lowney...
Overview Shows how Jesuits have successfully grappled with the same challenges that test great companies today with an emphasis on their adopted values: self-awareness, ingenuity, love, and heroism. Reprint.
Publishers Description Leadership Principles for Lasting Success Leadership makes great companies, but few of us truly understand how to turn ourselves and others into great leaders. One company--the Jesuits--pioneered a unique formula for molding leaders and in the process built one of history's most successful companies. In this groundbreaking book, Chris Lowney reveals the leadership principles that have guided the Jesuits for more than 450 years: self-awareness, ingenuity, love, and heroism. Lowney shows how these same principles can make each of us a dynamic leader in the twenty-first century. "Entertaining and well researched, this is a must-read for any business leader, and an inspirational read for anyone who wants to be a better human being." --Walter Gubert, chairman of the investment bank, J. P. Morgan "Lowney does a wonderfully engaging job of making clear the connections between our current leadership challenges and the principles employed so effectively by the Jesuits." --Edward J. Kelly III, president and ceo, Mercantile Bankshares Corporation "In this absorbing, lucid book, Lowney . . . explores how the Jesuits have successfully grappled with challenges that test great companies. Reflective businesspeople of faith will find Lowney's insights a breath of fresh air." --"Publishers Weekly," starred review "This 450-year-old institution seems] as current today as it was four centuries ago. Lowney shows us how every employee can and should be a leader and that love-driven leadership does work." --Richard K. Green, former president and COO, Blistex, Inc."This informative, fascinating book tells how Jesuits produced both outstanding individual leaders and a culture of leadership. This is a book to be enjoyed, pondered, and put into practice." --John W. Padberg, S.J., director, Institute of Jesuit Sources CIP
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Studio: Loyola Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.9" Width: 6" Height: 1" Weight: 1 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 2005
Publisher Loyola Press
ISBN 0829421157 ISBN13 9780829421156
Availability 0 units.
More About Chris Lowney
Chris Lowney, a former Jesuit seminarian, served as a Managing Director at J.P. Morgan & Co. on three continents. He currently chairs the board of Catholic Health Initiatives, one of the nation's largest healthcare systems. Author of the best-seller Heroic Leadership, he speaks widely on leadership and has been featured in Forbes, the Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, and the Wall Street Journal, among others. Visit chrislowney.com to learn more.
Chris Lowney currently resides in Riverdale, in the state of New York.
Reviews - What do customers think about Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-Year-Old Company That Changed the World?
A Company Truly Built to Last Mar 23, 2008
I first read this book about a year ago when participating in a class on understanding the Jesuit heritage of my place of work. I re-read it on the plane a couple of days ago returning from an overseas location where we recently established a program. The first time around I thought it was wonderful; re-reading it, I found it both wonderful and also profoundly relevant to our new enterprise.
Lowney takes as his thesis the idea that the same precepts that have animated the success of the Jesuit order can likewise inspire personal and business accomplishment. I have to say he has me convinced. He boils down concepts - like Cura Personalis, Magis, and Ad majorem dei gloriam - that will be familiar to those who attended Jesuit schools to what he describes as the four integrated "pillars" of leadership: Self-awareness, Ingenuity, Love and Heroism. He then uses the history of the Jesuit order to demonstrate how, through application of the four pillars, the Society of Jesus grew from a motley band of 10 likeminded University students of different nationalities, with no agenda beyond doing work "to help souls," to become arguably the most successful and influential Catholic religious order.
Lowney's work is not without controversy, especially his contention that the Jesuit's' leadership lessons can be replicated minus their overtly religious agenda. No doubt the order's founder, Inigo (Latinized to Ignatius) of Loyola - for whom doing it "for the glory of God" was all that mattered - would disapprove. However secular research would suggest that the 16th century Basque had some very profound insights that have application beyond turning back the tide of the Reformation and making converts worldwide. I have to say I find Ignatius to be an intensely attractive character, not least because he advocated active engagement in the world, not withdrawal from it. Here's a guy who for most his life just can't get it quite right - and who along the way experiences some incredible reverses - but who never stops trying to perfect his muddled thinking. He just keeps plugging away until it starts to become clear. And it turns out that it's his very lack of success that leads to his deepest insight: that an intensive regimen of active self-reflection will help him make better decisions.
What resonated with me during my most recent reading was how the Jesuit order faced the daunting task of preserving their purpose in remote lands among peoples with unfamiliar traditions - the same challenge facing my organization. Lowney provides many examples of how the Jesuits succeeded at that task. The training that the novice Jesuit undergoes involves frank self-examination, the letting go of attachments (the concept of "indifference" or the freedom to choose any course of action unencumbered by ingrained habits and prejudices), while learning, through active and repeated self-reflection, to validate one's own instincts to action. This creates a confident, prepared and self-reliant individual, eager to embrace life's challenges. In addition, the Jesuits teach a methodology for self-reflection - the Spiritual Exercises and the Examen - that can be used (the Examen everyday) to reinforce their initial training. Their selection process is tough - they take only the best and most purposeful. Those who are selected are encouraged to innovate and shown how love adds passion and purpose to the pursuit of heroic ambitions. The result, says Lowney, is an organization that can adapt easily to radically different circumstances while preserving it's core values (the same "preserve the core, stimulate progress" that Built to Last author Jim Collins sees as the hallmark of companies of enduring greatness).
At times during my visit to our new overseas location I found myself wondering if our task was just too daunting, the culture just too alien, to hope to transplant our unique brand. After reading how the Jesuits managed it, I feel more confident than ever that my organization can do likewise and should do likewise - not shrinking from full-out engagement - through the innovative application of our fundamental values to this new environment. Thanks Chris, and Inigo, for the reinvigorating lesson!
Much we can learn, but... Feb 21, 2008
The subtitle of this book is "Best Practices from a 450-Year-Old Company that Changed the World." Indeed, we can learn a lot from the practices of the Jesuits. Even though they were and continue to be theological competitors with those of an evangelical faith, the Jesuits provide a leadership model that is in contrast to many Protestant organizations.
The Jesuits rose to worldwide influence within a generation from their "no great leader" organizational practice. Whereas evangelicalism is often built around singular personalities and monolithic structures formed to achieve one man's vision, the Jesuits attempted to build all of their recruits into great leaders who, in turn, swarmed the world. That is the singular refreshing lesson that evangelicals can gain from the study of this book.
However, what is disturbing about the book is the inability of its author, or the Jesuits whom he cites, to grasp the biblical message of salvation by faith alone in Christ alone. With a works-based salvation the Jesuits were - and still are - about moralizing the world with biblical principles rather than affording individuals the New Testament teaching of the free gift of new life in Christ - and the power to live the Christian life - by receiving Christ as Lord and Savior through faith alone.
Heroic Leadership Feb 8, 2008
An excellent book on leadership development. It contains a lot of information and skills that are essential for leaders at all levels. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to improve self-development and self-awareness. Parents can utilize this book on their children's personal development.
An Uninterrupted Life of Heroic Deeds Feb 1, 2008
Author Chris Lowney turned in his Jesuit name badge on a Friday. On Monday, he clocked in at J.P. Morgan. Named a managing director of this huge investment banking firm while still in his 30s, he held senior positions with them in New York, Tokyo, Singapore and London.
Bemused and amused by the proliferation of leadership lesson books (Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun, to name just one), Lowney responded. "I was intrigued by what sixteenth-century priests might teach us twenty-first century sophisticates about leadership and about coping with complex, changing environments." He adds, "What often passes for leadership today is a shallow substitution of technique for substance."
I know. I know. I recommend a "must-read" book often. But, this one really is a five-star must-read. "Obedience issues in an uninterrupted life of heroic deeds and heroic virtues," writes Lowney. When's the last time you rubbed shoulders with a truly heroic leader?
The Company of Jesus (the Jesuits) was founded in 1540 by "ten men with no capital and no business plan." Yet within a generation, they built the world's most influential company of its kind. In 10 years, with no experience, they launched 30 colleges. "Instead of talking about leadership, they lived it." Founder Ignatius Loyola trained every recruit to lead. Jesuits believe that self-leadership emanates from four unique values: 1) self-awareness, 2) ingenuity, 3) love, and 4) heroism.
If you salivate at the chance to lead people through complexity, build global teams, control out-of-control growth, mediate turf battles, cultivate wealthy donors, and enforce rigorous hiring standards--you'll feast on this gourmet book. Chris Lowney's real world experience keeps it honest. His delicious and dry wit embarrassed me multiple times last week while reading on airplane trips. The laugh-out-loud moments were frequent!
Excellent book Jan 11, 2007
A different approach on leadership than the traditional self-help books written by sports coaches, military people or other "gurus".