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Howard's Gift: Uncommon Wisdom to Inspire Your Life's Work

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  145 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
An iconic teacher. A warm friend. A generous mentor.

For more than 40 years, Howard Stevenson has been a towering figure at Harvard Business School: the man who literally defined entrepreneurship and taught thousands of the world’s most successful professionals.

Now – spurred by Stevenson’s heart-stopping brush with death – his student, colleague, and dear friend Eric Sinowa
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by St. Martin's Press
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Jan 09, 2013 Arlene rated it liked it
If you have a high-paying job with good benefits but do not feel fulfilled by your work, you live in what Howard Stevenson calls a "velvet-lined rut."

If you take up golf not because you enjoy it but to establish business connections, you live what he calls a Pseudo three-D life.

Howard Stevenson has a forty-year career with the Harvard Business School. As a professor and entrepreneur, he inspires thousands of students, faculty and fellow entrepreneurs—including Eric Sinoway. Sinoway takes Howard
Oct 13, 2012 Marilyn rated it it was amazing
I received "Howard's Gift" as a Goodreads first reads giveaway. Eric Sinoway proves that IF you have a plan for your life you will be successful. Success is not an accident and Howard Stevenson theories show you how to plan, implement, and be successful. An inspiring read regardless of age.
Wayne McCoy
Nov 06, 2012 Wayne McCoy rated it really liked it
What is your legacy? What is your life's work? This is a book full of uncommon wisdom for our times, that offers the reader a chance to see the bigger picture of their life.

'Howard's Gift' deals with the inflection points that we run, both positive and negative, force us into choices. The book builds logically chapter upon chapter and deals with subjects like our celebrity culture, asking if the juice is worth the squeeze, and helping you form a personal board of directors for your life's work.
Dec 20, 2012 Allan rated it it was ok
About half of the wisdom in this book applies to the self-inflicted wounds of striving too hard. For the first time I have a theory about the sing-song cadence of business book filler: these people need permission (and some background elevator music) to slow down and contemplate life outside the jet stream.

A telling example on page 188 of the edition in hand relates the author attending a hospitality industry awards gala in Manhattan after lapsing for some while. "Ten or fifteen years ago I wou
Justin Mueller
May 16, 2015 Justin Mueller rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 18, 2013 David rated it it was ok
take advantage of opportunities, figure out what you're good at, have balance in life, etc. I may be missing something, as I am not in business, but for the most part the wisdom dispensed here seemed common, contrary to the title.

It's great that the author looked up to his business school prof Howard Stevenson, and this is a nice tribute, but being a third party to their conversations did not prove particularly rewarding. One difficulty is that "my wise advisor told me......" is not a scintillat
Jan 09, 2016 Jennifer rated it liked it
One of a series of books about life and leadership and career choices. This one is intended to be the uncommon wisdom of Howard Stevenson, a very popular professor and self-made man at the Harvard Business School. I found the book to be interesting, but did not really think it contained the kind of ground-breaking wisdom that it claimed. However, it was well enough written that I appreciated the reminders and made it through the book without regret. Not a must-read, but a book that assisted me w ...more
Sep 15, 2012 Erdahs rated it it was ok
Won as part of the Goodreads first reads program.

I am very happy for Mr. Sinoway that he had a mentor that made a huge impact on his life. Those relationships are wonderful, and I can understand the desire to share. Unfortunately, there is little unique or compelling about Howard's wisdom. This book reeks of pretension and privilege, if you aren't a graduate of Harvard Business School this book won't have much bearing on your life, and even if you are, it won't tell you anything about work/life
Karen Laurie Thomas
Jan 06, 2013 Karen Laurie Thomas rated it really liked it
Good book to read around New Years when we are thinking about our life and how it could/should be.. It's not a preachy self-help "follow this prescription and you'll have a fabulous life" type of book. Rather, it offers a view into one man's philosophy from the viewpoint of one of his closest students. Some passages between the author and his mentor were a bit drawn out, but the book is worth reading. I found it helpful for giving me something to ruminate upon when the house is quiet or you have ...more
Charles Assisi
Jan 05, 2013 Charles Assisi rated it really liked it
Lovely book, offers clarity, and makes eminent sense to people who understand the language of business. Not the kind of book you read over one sitting. My problem though is that the author tries to add literary flourishes when none are needed. This is a wise book and does its job well. The "flourishes" are distracting and irritating to say the least. Had it not been for those irritants, I'd have happily put a five star rating there
Dawn Lennon
Jan 31, 2013 Dawn Lennon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
A rich, conversational book that captures the boundless wisdom that evolved from the career success of Howard Stevenson, esteemed professor at HBS, entrepreneur, and businessman. Touching, inspiring, and eminently useful to overcoming career navigating challenges and self-confidence and self-doubt issues.
Jane Zeytoonian
Jul 09, 2013 Jane Zeytoonian rated it it was amazing
Howard gives advice on living out our individual journey. I was fortunate to meet the author and Howard at Mt Auburn Hospital's grand rounds. Every seat in the auditorium was taken, and many young doctors were sitting on the stairs to be apart of this presentation.
Lyla Ibrahim
Sep 12, 2012 Lyla Ibrahim rated it liked it
A good inspirational read, not just for entrepreneurs or people involved in business. If you're just someone who looking for inspiration for life, this is the perfect book for you. You enjoyed reading Tuesdays With Morrie, you'll enjoy this one.
Dec 23, 2012 Joyce rated it really liked it
I thought the authors offered some wise career developing advice. Like that they also incorporated consideration for other dimensions of life, aiming towards a wholesome approach. Will need to re-read to pick out the "pearls" most relevant to me at this time.
Sep 03, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it
For a work book group, Howard is a member of our Board of Directors. This is a thought provoking book that I hope to revisit without a deadline to finish. Many good ideas on how to plan and live a satisfying life.
Sep 01, 2012 Nell marked it as to-read
I won this in Good Reads first reads giveaway. I have just incorporated my business and am looking forward to sage advice for the next steps. Hoping to build my business and really learn how to be an entrepreneur. I hope the book arrives soon
Feb 03, 2013 Judy rated it really liked it
great book about your life's work
Feb 03, 2013 Jz rated it really liked it
Good balance of career-life advice with practical examples. Especially enjoyed the sections on how to structure your life plan, and the five aspects of healthy corporate cultures.
Mark Holencik
Oct 05, 2015 Mark Holencik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Howard's Gift will help you not end asking yourself, what happened to my life and career.
Oct 22, 2012 Katherine is currently reading it
Excellent read for entrepreneurial studies. The subject of inflection point driven careers is both relevant in today's business landscape and inspiring for readers.
Dec 20, 2012 Ron rated it it was ok
A few good ideas. Not much new here.
Apr 03, 2013 PWRL marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2013-new
Sep 11, 2012 Janet marked it as to-read
I can always use another good friend to help me guide thru life. Hopefully will win this book!
Jan 27, 2013 Carly rated it it was amazing
Very inspiring!
Jun 21, 2016 Slackchith rated it it was amazing
Great advice. Tuesdays with Morrie style but there's nothing sad in this book. Wonderful read.
Jtzeg rated it really liked it
May 26, 2014
Kyle Geoghan
Kyle Geoghan rated it liked it
Jan 07, 2014
Oscar Moreno
Oscar Moreno rated it really liked it
Nov 01, 2015
Ishana Shekhawat
Ishana Shekhawat rated it really liked it
Jun 09, 2013
Lee Simon
Lee Simon rated it it was amazing
Oct 14, 2012
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I am the President & Co-Founder of Axcess Worldwide, a partnership development company that creates inspired ideas and connects extraordinary brands and people. As an entrepreneur, I am involved in interesting and challenging projects. I am the author of Howard’s Gift: Uncommon Wisdom to Inspire Your Life’s Work, a book I wrote in cooperation with iconic Harvard Business School professor, Howa ...more
More about Eric C. Sinoway...

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“Juggling and balancing effectively required that we make clear, legacy-driven choices about what we're trying to keep in the air and how we sequence our movements down the beam. Because the ultimate grade in life is not based on how far and fast we've walked the beam or how many things we’ve juggled—it’s based on how much we've enjoyed the exercise.” 2 likes
“Howard [Stevenson] smiled impishly, as if he'd lured me into a trap on the chessboard—a trap he now sprung. “Ah, yes, all his social activities, his community engagement, his golf… On the surface, sure, his life looks well-rounded—three dimensional, if you will. But I’d be willing to bet a platterful of roast beef sandwiches that his life was in fact, ‘pseudo three-D’...[A]ll of if was—whether he knew it or not—part of his strategy for pursuing financial success, not distinct elements of a well-rounded life. An extension of one dimension that appears to be multifaceted—three dimensional—but really isn’t, Pseudo three-D.” 0 likes
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