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The Heart of Business: Leadership Principles for the Next Era of Capitalism

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A remarkable turnaround by a leader with a remarkable philosophy: Find your noble purpose. Put people at the center. Unleash human magic. "It was Fall in Minnesota. It was getting cold and we were supposed to die." This is how Hubert Joly describes the early, dark days as CEO of Best Buy, a job most thought he was crazy to accept. Amazon was tearing a disruptive path throug A remarkable turnaround by a leader with a remarkable philosophy: Find your noble purpose. Put people at the center. Unleash human magic. "It was Fall in Minnesota. It was getting cold and we were supposed to die." This is how Hubert Joly describes the early, dark days as CEO of Best Buy, a job most thought he was crazy to accept. Amazon was tearing a disruptive path through retail, but in the face of that existential threat Joly did something remarkable: he saved Best Buy and remade it into a thriving company rated as one of the most desirable businesses to work for. Having recently stepped down as Chairman and CEO, Joly is ready to share the leadership principles that underpinned the resurgence of Best Buy and that he believes are at the heart of business: pursue a noble purpose, put people at the center, unleash human magic, and treat profit as an outcome. There was a time when many would call this a soft philosophy. But times are changing. Best Buy and 180 other companies signed the momentous Business Roundtable statement in support of stakeholder capitalism. The Covid-19 pandemic further pushed many businesses to lead from a place of purpose and with humanity. The changes underway are not a revolt, but a revolution. And Joly provides concrete advice on how to implement principles that can serve as beacons for the next era of capitalism. Joly himself was transformed from a hard-charging, deeply analytical McKinsey consultant to a leader who believes in what he calls human magic. He will share how so much of what he initially learned about management is either dated, incomplete, or simply wrong—including how to turn around a business, develop and implement a strategy, mobilize an organization, and what it takes to be a great leader. The leadership principles Joly lays out worked at Best Buy. They can also contribute to the necessary re-foundation of business and capitalism around purpose and humanity.


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A remarkable turnaround by a leader with a remarkable philosophy: Find your noble purpose. Put people at the center. Unleash human magic. "It was Fall in Minnesota. It was getting cold and we were supposed to die." This is how Hubert Joly describes the early, dark days as CEO of Best Buy, a job most thought he was crazy to accept. Amazon was tearing a disruptive path throug A remarkable turnaround by a leader with a remarkable philosophy: Find your noble purpose. Put people at the center. Unleash human magic. "It was Fall in Minnesota. It was getting cold and we were supposed to die." This is how Hubert Joly describes the early, dark days as CEO of Best Buy, a job most thought he was crazy to accept. Amazon was tearing a disruptive path through retail, but in the face of that existential threat Joly did something remarkable: he saved Best Buy and remade it into a thriving company rated as one of the most desirable businesses to work for. Having recently stepped down as Chairman and CEO, Joly is ready to share the leadership principles that underpinned the resurgence of Best Buy and that he believes are at the heart of business: pursue a noble purpose, put people at the center, unleash human magic, and treat profit as an outcome. There was a time when many would call this a soft philosophy. But times are changing. Best Buy and 180 other companies signed the momentous Business Roundtable statement in support of stakeholder capitalism. The Covid-19 pandemic further pushed many businesses to lead from a place of purpose and with humanity. The changes underway are not a revolt, but a revolution. And Joly provides concrete advice on how to implement principles that can serve as beacons for the next era of capitalism. Joly himself was transformed from a hard-charging, deeply analytical McKinsey consultant to a leader who believes in what he calls human magic. He will share how so much of what he initially learned about management is either dated, incomplete, or simply wrong—including how to turn around a business, develop and implement a strategy, mobilize an organization, and what it takes to be a great leader. The leadership principles Joly lays out worked at Best Buy. They can also contribute to the necessary re-foundation of business and capitalism around purpose and humanity.

30 review for The Heart of Business: Leadership Principles for the Next Era of Capitalism

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alireza Hejazi

    Based on the author’s knowledge and professional experience, this book shares the leadership values that may be considered as the essence of business. It exemplifies the kind of leadership that corporate leaders should strive for: pursuing a noble cause, putting people first, unleashing human magic, and treating benefit as a result. The book offers concrete guidance on how to put such values into practice so that they can serve as beacons for the next age of capitalism. It informs readers of wha Based on the author’s knowledge and professional experience, this book shares the leadership values that may be considered as the essence of business. It exemplifies the kind of leadership that corporate leaders should strive for: pursuing a noble cause, putting people first, unleashing human magic, and treating benefit as a result. The book offers concrete guidance on how to put such values into practice so that they can serve as beacons for the next age of capitalism. It informs readers of what is out of date, incomplete, or simply incorrect about management and leadership. It teaches how to turn a company around, create and execute a vision, mobilize an organization, and what it takes to be a successful leader. The leadership concepts discussed in the book help to redefine business and capitalism around meaning and humanity. The book’s primary audience is business leaders.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sean Rodriguez

    Biggest takeaway from this book is that every company should get rid of stupid policies... I was first recommended this book by a TikTok account @Tycoonist. Next, I listened to the Ford Foundation Podcast: EVENT: Darren Walker and Hubert Joly discuss “The Heart of Business". Loved the content and storytelling surrounding this book so much that I ordered it. Highly recommend this book to anyone in a leadership role or who is striving to become a leader within their company. Many companies are focus Biggest takeaway from this book is that every company should get rid of stupid policies... I was first recommended this book by a TikTok account @Tycoonist. Next, I listened to the Ford Foundation Podcast: EVENT: Darren Walker and Hubert Joly discuss “The Heart of Business". Loved the content and storytelling surrounding this book so much that I ordered it. Highly recommend this book to anyone in a leadership role or who is striving to become a leader within their company. Many companies are focused on quarterly earnings and financial reports that have a consolidated snapshot of a company, but they forget a lot about one thing: Human Connections. I've seen companies solely focus on their target goals and financial reports that they have forgotten about their own employees (internal stakeholders who are the heart and soul of the company) that turnover has been rampant. This book highlights a turnaround story in Hubert Joly's life and his personal evolution through his leadership. This book was finished in the midst of Covid-19, so there are plenty of key takeaways leaders/readers can pick and pull to improve themselves.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Natesh

    The book is as much about Best buy as it is about purposeful leadership. Hubert Joly synthesizes all the lessons he learnt from his successful career at the helm of various companies. He clearly lays out what today's leaders need to focus on. I personally loved the concepts of human magic, stakeholder management and purpose of work. The initial few parts on the philosophy of work also dive into interesting territory, borrowing from various philosophers and religious works. Much recommended, but The book is as much about Best buy as it is about purposeful leadership. Hubert Joly synthesizes all the lessons he learnt from his successful career at the helm of various companies. He clearly lays out what today's leaders need to focus on. I personally loved the concepts of human magic, stakeholder management and purpose of work. The initial few parts on the philosophy of work also dive into interesting territory, borrowing from various philosophers and religious works. Much recommended, but not a page turner. This book requires introspection after every chapter.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shilpa

    Hubert has very well captured, analyzed his experiences and also has converted them Into key learnings which anyone can leverage and implement in a daily life whether you work in a corporate or anywhere. Purpose and people define almost everything.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Isaure Badre

    A post Covid must read The heart of business is a journey. A professional and a personal one. That leads us from McKinsey at the time of the triumph of Milton Friedman in the 80’s to the turn around of Best Buy in the 2010’s when people are coming first and lead the turnaround. We all a role and a say. Purpose it is ! Merci.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Read excerpt on WSJ 4/24/2021 - Joly joined Best Buy without prior experience. He spent the first few days in the store understanding the business and focused on solving only two problems.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Varun

    A blog, not a book. More like a blog post than a book. Nothing new here. Refashioning the purpose of business, of work, and of capitalism via purpose, mission, and people. Have heard the story before.

  8. 5 out of 5

    broken.tsuba

    This is a very simplistic book on leadership, nothing groundbreaking here. It may serve as an introduction if you’re just getting into leadership but there are much better books for that. I rate this as average because it’s suitable for most of the population to read and maybe get a couple pointers from, but anyone serious about leadership will get little out of it. I should mention one disappointment that I don’t care about but others might: the book uses Best Buy in most of their examples and m This is a very simplistic book on leadership, nothing groundbreaking here. It may serve as an introduction if you’re just getting into leadership but there are much better books for that. I rate this as average because it’s suitable for most of the population to read and maybe get a couple pointers from, but anyone serious about leadership will get little out of it. I should mention one disappointment that I don’t care about but others might: the book uses Best Buy in most of their examples and markets that as a focal point, however, they use this trending format of “state principle, give example, and reinforce.” That’s great for me because I don’t have to waste time reading bs to get the point but because there is a running narrative here it gets disjointed and you can’t feel the power achieved though all the principles applied to get them there. Best Buy’s turnaround could have been made into such an interesting narrative if they told it straight through and allowed the reader to glean the principles from the story instead of being handed to them in bites. It would have been much more compelling, uplifting, and empowering.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    Disclaimer, I work by Best Buy where Hubert was our CEO for awhile including when I worked there. I really enjoyed his outlook on work in this book, but I also think that it seems he didn't get to where he was by living what he's promoting now, which is a new way of thinking about business and treating customers and employees very well and hoping that profit will come as an outcome of both of those functions. Hindsight is always 50/50. He speaks about assured living and how great that portion of Disclaimer, I work by Best Buy where Hubert was our CEO for awhile including when I worked there. I really enjoyed his outlook on work in this book, but I also think that it seems he didn't get to where he was by living what he's promoting now, which is a new way of thinking about business and treating customers and employees very well and hoping that profit will come as an outcome of both of those functions. Hindsight is always 50/50. He speaks about assured living and how great that portion of the business was going to be, but I believe that business is not longer a service that is offered by BBY. With all that said, I still really enjoyed it and would recommend to anyone who also enjoys reading about business strategy.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Julian Walker

    A genuinely interesting perspective on management and corporate focus - and, to be honest, the only book I have ever read which draws on inspirations as diverse as Asterix the Gaul and the Jesuit priesthood. Several of the illustrative anecdotes were already well known to me, but I liked the way he gives a new slant to them with his focus on creating an honest sense of purpose, rather than a bottom line, financially-driven diktat. This is the future of successful management - re-defining success a A genuinely interesting perspective on management and corporate focus - and, to be honest, the only book I have ever read which draws on inspirations as diverse as Asterix the Gaul and the Jesuit priesthood. Several of the illustrative anecdotes were already well known to me, but I liked the way he gives a new slant to them with his focus on creating an honest sense of purpose, rather than a bottom line, financially-driven diktat. This is the future of successful management - re-defining success as an all encompassing people initiative - and one from which I hope corporate life will benefit.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ietrio

    Capitalism has died back in the 19th century. 20th century was the time of mass produced killings and unprecedented expansion of the Total State. But here is a witch doctor that will do the rain dance and his tailor made suit and show that Capitalism is all about doing what the people in power want. If you want to find out more, get yourself a copy of The Vampire Economy: Doing Business Under Fascism. Capitalism has died back in the 19th century. 20th century was the time of mass produced killings and unprecedented expansion of the Total State. But here is a witch doctor that will do the rain dance and his tailor made suit and show that Capitalism is all about doing what the people in power want. If you want to find out more, get yourself a copy of The Vampire Economy: Doing Business Under Fascism.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Luca Morgan

    I want to take a moment to appreciate Hack West the Credit Specialist for all they do for humanity, yes I say humanity because I have been a victim of scam where they ripped my money off without doing anything. Hack West changed the narrative by fixing my credit in less than a week. Credit card debts, students loans, collections and medical bills were cleared and my score was pushed to 809 within this time frame. What else can I say than to tell the whole person who care to fix their credit to g I want to take a moment to appreciate Hack West the Credit Specialist for all they do for humanity, yes I say humanity because I have been a victim of scam where they ripped my money off without doing anything. Hack West changed the narrative by fixing my credit in less than a week. Credit card debts, students loans, collections and medical bills were cleared and my score was pushed to 809 within this time frame. What else can I say than to tell the whole person who care to fix their credit to go with HACKWEST at WRITEME dot COM or 424 307 2638 Cheers!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Boaz

    I try to read at least one business book a quarter (alongside books of other genres). Business books are increasingly common these days as many companies discovered they are a great marketing tool and business leaders view them as a mean of personal expression. These make me wary when I start to read them… Hubert’s book is a fantastic one that is high on the scale of authenticity. He is not shy in stressing his successes, but also completely comfortable sharing his failures and mistakes. All in I try to read at least one business book a quarter (alongside books of other genres). Business books are increasingly common these days as many companies discovered they are a great marketing tool and business leaders view them as a mean of personal expression. These make me wary when I start to read them… Hubert’s book is a fantastic one that is high on the scale of authenticity. He is not shy in stressing his successes, but also completely comfortable sharing his failures and mistakes. All in all it is educational and enlightening and very well worth reading - especially for those, like me, who struggle with the greedy form of capitalism that has caused so much damage to the world and to many of us an individuals.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Phil Jenkins

    Hubert (Hubie, or "The Hubes", as I like to call him), lays out a different leadership paradigm than were typically fed. In this book, he explains how and why the best leaders start and end with people, not profit, as their focus. I took some interesting notes from Mr Joly's book, and I intend to begin to incorporate them into my management style. Time will tell how that works out! Hubert (Hubie, or "The Hubes", as I like to call him), lays out a different leadership paradigm than were typically fed. In this book, he explains how and why the best leaders start and end with people, not profit, as their focus. I took some interesting notes from Mr Joly's book, and I intend to begin to incorporate them into my management style. Time will tell how that works out!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Justin Palmer

    This was a good book but I just didn't connect with it for some reason. I don't know why because it was written well, but it just didn't give me additional insight that i have not gleaned from other books This was a good book but I just didn't connect with it for some reason. I don't know why because it was written well, but it just didn't give me additional insight that i have not gleaned from other books

  16. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    This is a truly remarkable account on how the right kind of leadership will take an organization to the next level of success. Hubert Joly was able to show us in this book that by going to the heart of business we will be able to create an environment where success is always possible.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Christoph Monschein

    very well written leadership book on how to be a purposeful leader who develops an organization driven by its purpose not an academic book but rather an account of the author's own story and learnings very well written leadership book on how to be a purposeful leader who develops an organization driven by its purpose not an academic book but rather an account of the author's own story and learnings

  18. 5 out of 5

    Valtteri Hirsi

    Purposeful writing For this book there was really purpose to write it. Good insights and good enough practical list to think about how to change your organization to enlightenment. :)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Eli

    Excellent overview what it takes run a successful company in the 21st Century.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Teri Temme

    Should be required reading!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Eblein

    This is one of the best books on leadership. Put people first.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

    Story of the Best Buy overhaul was really inspiring and gave some real world insight to running a business.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lee Boyd

    Great book for leaders. This book gives you a great list of things you should be grading yourself on daily.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tlangemo

    Tremendous book. For me, life changing in the timing and circumstance of reading it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Asheesh Saksena

    The Heart of Hubert Just finished reading The Heart of Business - and it was so good to hear my former - and much respected - boss’ “voice” again! There are so many actionable insights in here - a few I had heard Hubert talk about before, and yet when read as one unified document, it was truly thought provoking and insightful. Thank you, Hubert, for taking the time to pen these down. It will benefit so many, including me.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Marino

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tyler Kobe

  28. 4 out of 5

    David Jose

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Esposito

  30. 5 out of 5

    Frank Luong

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