Summary of Higher Ambition

How Great Leaders Create Economic and Social Value

Harvard Business Review Press, more...

Buy the book

Higher Ambition book summary
Take wise, practical lessons on excellence from 36 exemplary CEOs.


8 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

7 Style


Concentrating solely on the bottom line may produce short-term results, but it won’t provide the basis for long-term success or contribute to the greater good. Only “higher-ambition leaders” – CEOs who focus on their company’s social contribution as well as its performance – can do both. Professors Michael Beer and Flemming Norrgren, working with co-authors Russell Eisenstat, Nathaniel Foote and Tobias Fredberg, interviewed 36 successful CEOs who exemplify higher-ambition leadership. The authors base their higher-ambition leadership model on these leaders’ principles, processes and behaviors. getAbstract believes the authors hit an innovative chord and fill a gap that MBA programs leave open by concentrating primarily on increasing shareholder value. These tales of determination, vision and courage will help leaders lift their eyes from today’s bottom line and look beyond the horizon.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What constitutes “higher-ambition leadership” and
  • What five essential leadership disciplines successful HA leaders employ.


“Higher Ambition” Leadership in Action
Doug Conant became CEO of Campbell Soup Company in 2001. The company’s struggles at that time dated back to the late 1990s, when it raised prices to boost short-term profits and thereby opened the door to more aggressive competitors.

Get the key points from this book in less than 10 minutes. Learn more about our products or log in

About the Authors

Michael Beer is a professor emeritus at Harvard Business School. Flemming Norrgren is Professor of Management at Chalmers University. Beer and Norrgren and their co-authors, Russell Eisenstat, Nathaniel Foote and Tobias Fredberg, are all associated with TruePoint Partners, which funded the research for this book. They all recently founded the nonprofit Center for Higher Ambition Leadership to catalyze global HA leadership and organization development.

Comment on this summary

  • Avatar
  • Avatar
    Jain Ambrish 4 years ago
    Excellent read with some actionable tips towards developing oneself to be a 'Higher Ambition HA) Leader'.

More on this topic

Contained in Knowledge Pack:

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category