Summary of Common Purpose

How Great Leaders Get Organizations to Achieve the Extraordinary

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Common Purpose book summary
The command-and-control leader is a dinosaur. The ideal replacement: the “common purpose” leader.


7 Overall

8 Applicability

6 Innovation

8 Style


Renowned business thinker Joel Kurtzman offers an excellent primer on modern-day leadership. Kurtzman, a senior fellow at the Milken Institute and former editor in chief of Harvard Business Review, dramatically illustrates that the aloof, insular, condescending leader is a dinosaur from an unenlightened past. To foster organizations that thrive, leaders must guide and empower, not command and control, as Kurtzman explains with precepts you can put directly into action. His thoroughly researched book is packed with case studies of prominent leaders – both the good and the bad. These fascinating, sometimes chatty stories entertain and instruct at the same time. getAbstract highly recommends Kurtzman’s illuminating, clearly written book.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What “common purpose” is,
  • What characteristics define purpose leaders and
  • How organizations benefit from purpose leadership.


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About the Author

Joel Kurtzman is chair of the Kurtzman Group and senior fellow at the Milken Institute, a nonpartisan think tank. He was previously editor in chief of the Harvard Business Review.

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