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Heroic Leadership


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About the Author

Chris Lowney, a former Jesuit, served as Managing Director at J.P. Morgan in New York, Tokyo, Singapore, and London for seventeen years. A popular speaker on issues around leadership, he is the author of the best-selling Heroic Living, and he has been featured in Forbes, the Harvard Business Review, and FastCompany.com. Lowney currently lives in New York where he is a consultant for the Catholic Medical Mission Board.


What can a 16th-century priest tell a 21st-century business executive about leadership? Plenty, believes this author, who points out that from a 10-man "company" founded by St. Ignatius Loyola in 1540, the Jesuits are now the world's largest religious order, with 21,000 professionals. In this absorbing, lucid book, Lowney, who left a seven-year stint as a Jesuit seminarian to become a managing director at J.P. Morgan, explores how the Jesuits have successfully grappled with challenges that test great companies-forging seamless multinational teams, motivating performance, being open to change and staying adaptable. As he takes the reader on an engaging romp through slices of Jesuit history, Lowney references four Jesuit pillars of success: self-awareness (reflection), ingenuity (embracing change), love (positive attitudes toward others) and heroism (energizing ambitions). Despite the emphasis on the four pillars, this is no formulaic "12-steps-to-success" tome. Rather than focusing on what leaders do, Lowney shows how the Jesuit approach focuses on who leaders are. His conversational voice draws the reader in as he unfolds leadership lessons from some unlikely Jesuit role models, including explorer Benedetto de Goes, linguist Matteo Ricci and mathematician and astronomer Christopher Clavius. Lowney's passion for history is appealing, and he is careful not to sugarcoat his historical role models. Professionals looking for a One-Minute type of business book won't find it here, but more reflective businesspeople of faith will find Lowney's insights a breath of fresh air. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

"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

"In this absorbing, lucid book, Lowney . . . explores how the Jesuits have successfully grappled with challenges that test great companies. Reflective business people of faith will find Lowney's insights a breath of fresh air."
--Publishers Weekly, starred review

"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
"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

"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.
"In his book, Heroic Leadership, Chris Lowney uses the history and tradition of the Jesuit order to articulate a model for authentic, moral leadership. As Governor of Colorado, Heroic Leadership helped me think about how to lead better than any other book out there."Bill Ritter, Jr.Former Governor of Colorado

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