Summary of Good People

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Best-selling author Anthony Tjan conducted extensive research and dozens of interviews with successful people to explore leadership that encourages moral character and goodness. The results include the “Goodness Pyramid,” a framework for discussing and evaluating goodness and success. Tjan teaches leaders to value people above all and help others become the best versions of themselves. Leaders who want to incorporate goodness into their culture will welcome this guide. Tjan’s values offer a meaningful counterweight to profit-only leadership. 

About the Author

Co-author of the New York Times bestseller Heart, Smarts, Guts and Luck, Anthony Tjan is co-founder and CEO of the venture capital firm Cue Ball.



Goodness in business transcends competency and profit to encompass values. Good people prioritize others, help them achieve and emphasize their values.

Business success focuses on generating profits and returns for your shareholders. However, this financial measurement does not encompass the effect a business has on its employees and society.

John Mackey, co-founder of Whole Foods, believes a successful business also improves people’s lives as it creates value and profits for stakeholders. “Soft” qualities such as character, values, empathy and the desire to do the right thing expand the definition of success to include goodness.

Goodness requires balancing ideals and realities while remaining true to your values.

Five principles of goodness form the “Good People Mantra” for business and life:

  1. Put people foremost, now and in the future.
  2. Assist others in reaching their full potential.
  3. Prioritize values over results.
  4. Harmonize the components of practicing goodness, including its tensions.   
  5. Strive for goodness when it’s easy and when it’s difficult.

The “Goodness Pyramid is built on “truth...

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