Common Purpose: How Great Leaders Get Organizations to Achieve the Extraordinary. Joel Kurtzman. Jossey-Bass.

Common Purpose: How Great Leaders Get Organizations to Achieve the Extraordinary Book Cover Common Purpose: How Great Leaders Get Organizations to Achieve the Extraordinary
Joel Kurtzman
March 1, 2010

In this groundbreaking book, business and management expert 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 organizations 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 Kurtzman has observed that when a leader is able to bring it about, the results are outsized, measurable, and inspiring.

Based on Kurtzman’s thirty 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.

In a world besieged by failures of leadership, leaders who hope to last must understand how to create sustainable, healthy organizations. With new insights on how to approach a leadership mindset, as well as how to implement it, Common Purpose sheds new light on the meaning of leadership, the crucial qualities of leaders, and most importantly, how to lead.

Joel Kurtzman is chairman of the Kurtzman Group, a research and consulting firm focusing on issues relating to knowledge management, strategy, economic development, global risk, and thought leadership. Is a senior fellow at the Milken Institute and publisher of the Milken Institute Review, and a senior fellow at Gorton’s SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management is also an advisor to the World Economic Forum and to the U.S. Council on Competitiveness. Previously, he was the editor of Harvard Business Review, founder and editor of strategy + business magazine, a columnist at Fortune, and an editor and columnist at The New York Times. For more than 30 years, Kurtzman has interviewed, worked with, and consulted to the CEOs of some of the world’s largest companies.