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Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-Year-Old Company That Changed the World

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  293 ratings  ·  50 reviews
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
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published August 1st 2003 by Loyola Press (first published June 30th 2003)
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This is a very powerful look at the early history of the Jesuit order, and how their unique devotion to self-awareness, ingenuity, and love combined to make them natural leaders--from the top of the order down. It's written by a man who spent six years in Jesuit formation before leaving to become an investment banker at J. P. Morgan; he sees the good and the bad in this, and his analysis is fascinating.

The good: I found more than a few very piercing, deep insights in this book. I found myself qu
Once you get past the first few chapters, this book spends a lot of time on Jesuit history to illustrate the points and build understanding into the how behind Heroic Leadership. If you find the historical components interesting, as I do having worked at Jesuit colleges for going on 5 years, the book proves to be intriguing, albeit a bit dense. If not, there are many parts that could be skipped over to try and absorb many of the great "ah-ha" moments and paragraphs that hold key insights to Lown ...more
I don't think I ever would have read this if not for the extraordinarily enthusiastic reviews from a couple of people I really respect. At first glance, the book appears to be largely about two things that are not, and have never really been, part of my experience: the Jesuits and leadership in the private sector. But before I'd gotten too far into the book, I discovered that the Jesuits are fascinating and, although the principles that Lowney endorses may well be as helpful in the business worl ...more
Recommended on son rise morning show. Includes many interesting insights on leadership from the perspective of a former Jesuit novice who now works in the corporate world. Really a great read for anyone. The principles addressed in this book could be applied to everyday life. Thanks to Fr. James Martin, I'm a bit familiar with the Jesuits, but this author introduced me to some new-to-me Jesuit history. Amazing stories of tremendous faith, really great examples of the principles he's describing. ...more
Quality leadership is not determined by a single moment or decision, but is a lifestyle that expresses itself daily through self-awareness, ingenuity, love, and heroism - the four defining marks of Jesuit leadership. Lowney - the book's author, a former Jesuit, and a former big-wig at J.P. Morgan - offers nearly a dozen case studies in Jesuit leadership (primary from the first three generations) and practice (particularly from Loyola's "Spiritual Exercises") which serve to demonstrate, through s ...more
Louis Vigo
Self-awareness, ingenuity, love, heroism. The 4 pillars of Jesuit leadership enabled them to take on the world.

Walking through a rich and inspiring history, gaining leadership lessons based upon heroism and love rooted in the Spiritual Exercises of the Jesuits throughly changed my view of leadership and has given me fresh insight into my walk with the Lord

The challenge for me is to incorporate these views into my daily routine as a construction contractor, and in the last chapter Lowney gives s
Carol Mann Agency
“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
Jul 07, 2008 Alice rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alice by: Dave Smeltzer, Vineyard pastor
A former Jesuit priest turned businessman distills the essential principles followed by Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, into management advice for companies today. Parts of this book were truly fascinating: not the part that purports to be management advice, but the the story of the Jesuits themselves.

My favorite part was the story about the early (1600s) Jesuit missionaries who aggressively conformed to the culture in which they were living. Acquiring a positive reputation as scholars and pursu
I've been drawn to the contemplative life over the past few years. Meditation, examin---etc. There has always been a fear that pursuing these things too deeply could feed this thing in me that desires to "remove myself" from the world---to become "monkish."

I'm happy to have read this book. The Jesuits embraced both the reality and need for self-awareness and quiet, yet they were able to pursue it through fast-changing times and with a mission to change the world.

It makes me want to
Oct 05, 2007 Reynol rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Who want become a Leader.
I got much from this book about Jesuit's life.

This book is a combination of Christian Worldview thinking and Leadership theory & practice.

Some of the key aspects of leadership demonstrated and taught by the Jesuits like self-awareness (reflection), ingenuity (embracing change), love (positive attitudes toward others) and heroism (energizing ambitions).

I also found this book to be very informative about the history of the Jesuit organization and this book are simple and can be applied to eac
Lowney created case studies of a lot of people that are not front and center in our memory to make a point: ordinary people, sometimes with incredible flaws, changed the world. They did so based on a rule of life that guided them internally and externally. As a Christian, I found my faith challenged...and strengthened by reading this book. I think it has plenty of practical value in contemporary church culture...not to mention secular culture as well. I gave it five stars because the text plante ...more
Kamil Salamah
Apr 15, 2010 Kamil Salamah rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Kamil by: a work colleague
This is one of the BEST, if not the best book I have read on the subject.

It has re-enforced my innate beliefs on the subject and humanities intuitive inherited beliefs that worldly corporate systems has tried to negate. SHAME on them.

No doubt it will make a difference in anyone keen to challenge themselves by reading it and referring to it time and again to reassure oneself that they are on the right track; when one listens to their heart. OUTSTANDING.
Kate Davis
Read for Leadership I with Dr Rose Madrid-Swetman.

The principles in it are useful, but could easily be explained in just a few dozen pages. Lowney goes into length, biography-length examples to demonstrate the principles. The examples go on long enough that I would forget which principle I was meant to be watching for and resorted to skimming those sections. Worth the read, but mostly for the bulleted lists.
There were parts of the book I found interesting - I liked the Jesuit history and how he applies the way they developed their organization to how we can be better leaders today. However, I found his writing style dull and repetitive, and the reason it took me so long to read is because when I'd pick it up before going to bed I'd be asleep after 10 pages. I recommend skimming rather than reading.
Army Alghifari
Banyak diantara kita yang curious, bagaimana kerajaan bisnis dibangun. Dan chris lowney menjawabnya dengan background 7 tahunnya menjalani kaul kegerejaan, namun justru sukses memimpin JP Morgan. Hal ini senada dalam pengajaran islam, bahwa untuk menciptakan suatu kerja luarbiasa, kita tidak bisa menuhankan dunia. Dunia tetap dalam genggaman, dan akhirat dalam jiwa. Menarik sekali. Must read!
One of the best books of the year. Took me back to educators that I have had in the past. This quote about the Jesuits and is applicable to the education of everyone: "they were made of the same stuff as the people around the;they were all equal all endowed with the same worth, all shot through with the same energy and potential" To carry this idea around the world!
Pam Powers
This is a powerful book. There are many life changing lessons that are invaluable for anyone who wants to make a difference, interestingly enough, by "making ourselves indifferent."

"Only by becoming indifferent - free of prejudices and attachments and therefore free to choose any course of action - do recruits (Jesuits) become strategically flexible" p. 121
Aug 09, 2007 Leslie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: managers
I enjoyed this book because I went to a Jesuit college and have always been very impressed with the Jesuits. I think the thing that stuck with me the most is that Jesuits take time several times during the day to do a little self-reflection and to stay in the moment. This is an excellent leadership book for anyone; you do not have to be Catholic to enjoy this book.
John Kuypers
An enjoyable read for leadership fans who appreciate faith and spirituality. I gained a wonderful perspective on the Jesuits (Society of Jesus) and their beautiful philosophy, deep faith and amazing impact on the world. Given that Pope Francis is a Jesuit, this is particularly relevant for Catholic leaders. Well worth reading.
Jane allen
fascinating, especially the historical information about the jesuits. made me want to read more about those early pioneers and the amazing things they achieved on their own. i found the book a little repetitious sometimes, but well worth getting through. should be manadtaory reading for anyone who has to work with others!
Feb 02, 2010 Samuel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People in leadership
A study on leadership using the history of the Jesuits. I enjoyed reading a book on leadership that wasn't just straight principles and ideas. It was engaging to get a factual history along with those things. Self-awareness, ingenuity, love, and heroism being the pillars upon which successful leaders are birthed.
Andrew Jansen
Buku yang membahas tentang kepemimpinan. Kepemimpinan yang berbeda dari kepemimpinan yang biasa kita temukan dalam buku-buku tentang kepemimpinan pada umumnya. Digali dari pengalaman tentang pengenalan diri dan melatih kepemimpinan versi Yesuit, buku ini benar-benar mengubah pandangan saya tentang kepemimpinan
Mike Bassett
The thing that resonated with me about this book was it really "bridged Sunday to Monday." It discusses how the Jesuit's founding principles can be used at our jobs TODAY. I attended a workshop put on by the author, Chris Lowney. Very intersting. I am going to read his next book, "Heroic Living."
A lot of Jesuit propaganda, but also a unique way of looking at the Jesuit organization, from that of a multinational corporation. The stories, although very one-sided are well written and illustrate the general management points. An interesting read, when taken with a grain of salt.
Luis Fonseca
If you like to read about leadership and business, read this one. It will show you a very different approach to it. Not from a guru that showed in the media yesterday but from a corporation that have been in the market for a long time and very successfully. Enduring Leadership !
Intriguing and fascinating exploration of how the Jesuits practiced leadership.The history and stories of many Jesuits is inspiring and how they practised contextualisation, incredible. In critique some of the leadership connections felt a little forced.
I only could get part way through this. It didn't feel like it was extremely grounded in Ignatian or Jesuit spirituality. It felt like it was written in a way that is almost completely geared toward the secular/business world.
An excellent reflection on leadership and the importance of self knowledge... Much more to add but this book really captured the type of leader I aim to be. Who knew I was following the Jesuits all this time?
Ted Tschopp
A great book on how the Jesuits order approaches the topic of leadership. I will need to read this a couple more time to fully understand what's being said here.
Leaders set examples from that they do in their daily lives. Anyone can be a leader. You might be a leader at any instance in time and not even know it.
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Chris Lowney chairs the board of Catholic Health Initiatives, one of the nation’s largest healthcare/hospital systems with some $ 19 billion in assets. He is a one-time Jesuit seminarian who later served as a Managing Director of J.P. Morgan & Co in New York, Tokyo, Singapore and London until leaving the firm in 2001. He is a popular keynote speaker who has lectured in more than two-dozen coun ...more
More about Chris Lowney...
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“The measure of their personal greatness is less what they found at journey's end and more the depth of human character that carried them along the way: their imagination, will, perseverance, courage, resourcefulness, and willingness to bear the risk of failure.” 0 likes
“In other words, speed, innovation, and global focus happen only when lots of delegated authority sits alongside lots of centralized authority.” 0 likes
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