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Becoming The Best

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Becoming The Best

Build a World-Class Organization Through Values-Based Leadership


15 min read
10 take-aways
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To achieve five business “bests,” follow four principles: “know yourself,” build positive relationships, develop self-confidence and respect everyone.

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Harry M. Jansen Kraemer Jr., a professor and former CEO, has written a straightforward book on leadership that’s full of no-nonsense advice. Using case studies and wisdom gathered during his long career, he prescribes following four easy-to-understand principles to achieve “five bests” in your career and your life. As he explains, “what it means to be a values-based leader and build a world-class organization,” Kraemer helps you become a better person and, therefore, a better leader. He advises knowing your values and then consistently aligning your actions with those values, always resisting quick wins that clash with your beliefs. That, he says, is the way to achieve the five bests – becoming your best self, and establishing the best team, best partnership, best value for investors and best citizenship. Meanwhile, you’ll lead a values-based organization that reaps the benefits of solid relationships with its employees, customers, suppliers, investors and the communities where it does business. getAbstract recommends Kraemer’s insights to leaders, CEOs, small-business owners, and anyone seeking self-improvement.


Your “Best Self”

Achieving your best self doesn’t require perfection, but it does require a conscious effort to improve throughout your life. Understand yourself, learn from your mistakes, seek advice from others and build quiet confidence. To achieve the “five bests” – being your best self, forming the “best team,” working with the “best partners,” making your company into the “best investment” and being the best “corporate citizen” – follow four guiding principles:

  1. “Self-reflection” – Know yourself. Consider your values, and reflect on your actions daily. You’ll stumble from time to time, but gradually your decisions and actions will align with your values.
  2. “Balance” – Build positive relationships. See other people’s perspectives. Seek advice from a diverse array of people, including your peers, junior employees and those holding opinions different from yours.
  3. “True self-confidence” – Develop true self-confidence based on identifying and respecting your strengths and values. Understand what motivates and energizes you and what drains your energy. Know where you excel and where you need help. Have the confidence to admit ...

About the Author

Northwestern University professor Harry M. Jansen Kraemer Jr. was chairman and CEO of Baxter International Inc. He is a partner at Madison Dearborn, a private equity firm.

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    E. M. 8 years ago
    This summary is amazing! I thoroughly enjoyed it and the deep insight it provided. This summary lays the foundation of understanding how to become your best self. Understanding yourself, having complete confidence in your strengths and values, and building positive relationships help in all facets of life from business to relationships.

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