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

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  503 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
Leadership is crucial to building organizations with staying power. In Heroic Leadership, author Chris Lowney examines organizational principles derived from the history and teachings of the Jesuits and applies them to modern corporate culture. Based on the four core values of self-awareness, ingenuity, love, and heroism, this book identifies practices that sixteenth centu ...more
nookbook (ebook), 336 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Loyola Press (first published June 30th 2003)
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Sep 29, 2011 Cow rated it liked it
Shelves: blackrobes
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
Mar 18, 2013 Kris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Angelo Parcesepe
Jan 02, 2015 Angelo Parcesepe rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-Year-Old Company That Changed the World de Chris Lowney.

Leí este libro porque quiero expandir mis gustos literarios.

Ja. Mejor dicho, lectura obligatoria para la universidad, me obligue a leerlo, y señor Lowney escribir esporádicamente la palabra "liderazgo" no lo hace de ninguna forma un libro sobre el tema en cuestión, sin embargo "A+" por repetir lo mismo una y otra vez de diferentes maneras.
Could have had a better title. A simplified history of the Jesuits successes and failures. Questions for further research.

Was Francis Borgia, a Spainish pope or a cardinal? Where was he in the line of Borgia Popes?
What are typical morning examen questions? What are typical evening examen questions?
What is a morning Jesuit prayer? What is an evening Jesuit prayer?

Might the history of the South American Guarani be the model "Paradise" in Barry Unsworth's "Sacred Hunger". A place where black and wh
Samy Anzola
May 17, 2016 Samy Anzola rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Este libro es genial, me ha encantado. Ha sido tantísimo lo que he reflexionado con cada palabra, que en serio tenía que correr a ponerle cuatro estrellas. Hubo un aspecto que me gustó mucho, y fue el hecho de que tenía mucha historia. Siento que realmente me enteré de quiénes son los jesuítas.

También me gustó la manera en que el escritor relacionaba hechos históricos con el liderazgo y los valores que manejan los jesuítas. Esto ilustraba mucho mejor lo que él quería decir. El libro parece estar
Mar 10, 2008 Brett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 04, 2007 Reynol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Louis Vigo
Aug 13, 2010 Louis Vigo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology, culture
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
Jul 07, 2008 Alice rated it liked it  ·  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
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
Jan 15, 2010 Jared rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pastoral, leadership
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
Nov 03, 2012 Dave rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Pam Cipkowski
It took me forever to get through this one. I didn’t expect it to be a detailed history of Jesuit missions and conquests. Like David Brooks’s The Road to Character, I felt it could have been distilled into the first and last chapters. If you are looking for a philosophy of leadership modeled after Jesuit or Catholic principles, I would instead recommend Jeffrey A. Krames’s Lead with Humility: 12 Leadership Lessons from Pope Francis.
Jon Mertz
Mar 25, 2015 Jon Mertz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book provided some solid leadership insights but the reading was very dry at times. Overall, the leadership model engaged by Jesuits is one that is very relevant in today's world. This may be even more true given the digital elements that did not exist so many years ago. This is a worthy read, just may need to put it aside every now and then and set longer pace to stay engaged through the complete text.
Oct 27, 2008 Tara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Kamil Salamah
Apr 15, 2010 Kamil Salamah rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Sergio Redondo
Aug 16, 2016 Sergio Redondo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutamente maravilloso. Aparte de ser una auténtica historia sobre los jesuitas, nos ofrece las claves de lo que debería ser el auténtico liderazgo.: autoconocimiento, ingenio, amor y heroísmo.
Con un montón de citas para enmarcar, se lo recomiendo a todo el mundo. En serio, una auténtica delicia. Y se lee de un tirón.
Jeff Lampson
Chris Lowney makes Ignatian leadership so very relevant and accessible. It paints one of the clearest pictures I have read of the value of leadership at all levels. This has inspired me to bring many of it's core principles into my leadership coaching. I continue to find an ever deepening truth to the four core principles so well articulated by this former Jesuit and business executive.

Jane allen
Aug 26, 2008 Jane allen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Army Alghifari
Oct 15, 2010 Army Alghifari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fbbm
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!
Aug 09, 2007 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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."
John Kuypers
Jul 02, 2013 John Kuypers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 15, 2012 Dick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Andrés Culebro
Jun 11, 2016 Andrés Culebro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una manera diferente de ver el liderazgo, pero sin duda más humana. No se confundan pensando que es un libro religioso, es un libro de liderazgo empresarial, donde nos muestran no fórmulas mágicas o pasos para llegar al liderazgo; simplemente nos hablan de los 4 conceptos fundamentales que le sirvieron a una compañía religiosa a sobrevivir y tener éxito durante 450 años.
Andrew Jansen
Oct 04, 2007 Andrew Jansen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 06, 2010 Samuel rated it really liked it  ·  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.
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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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“What distinguishes love-driven leaders from tyrants? "Great affection" coupled with the passion to see others "run at full speed towards perfection." Love-driven leadership is not urging others forward without concern for their aspirations, well-being, or personal needs. Nor is it being the nice-guy manager who overlooks underperformance that could damage a subordinate's long-term prospects. Instead, love-driven leaders hunger to see latent potential blossom and to help it happen. In more prosaic terms, when do children, students, athletes, or employees achieve their full potential? When they're parented, taught, coached, or managed by those who engender trust, provide support and encouragement, uncover potential, and set high standards.” 2 likes
“Everyone is a leader, and everyone is leading all the time-sometimes in immediate, dramatic, and obvious ways, more often in subtle, hard-to-measure ways, but leading nonetheless.” 2 likes
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