Summary of They Told Me Not to Take That Job

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They Told Me Not to Take That Job book summary


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Accomplished businessman, board member and Columbia University professor Reynold Levy ran New York City’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts for 12 years. Deeply vested in the nonprofit world and accustomed to its Machiavellian politics, Levy led Lincoln Center through a massive renovation and fund-raising drive. He dealt with every conceivable bureaucratic battle and flamboyant personality. Through it all, Levy remained pragmatic, dedicated and determined to leave Lincoln Center more financially secure, artistically daring and internationally famous than he found it. He stood at the epicenter of high culture in New York City and tells the stories that prove it. Levy spins amazing tales of vicious infighting and artistic heroism. His prose can be a bit dense, and he asks sequential rhetorical questions when you might long for simple statements of fact. Even so, you can’t get more inside the worlds of cultural, civic and financial power than this. getAbstract recommends Levy’s take-no-prisoners memoir to CEOs, managers of nonprofits, and fans of opera, ballet, symphony, jazz and film.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What qualities Reynold Levy needed to lead Lincoln Center, a world hub of the performing arts;
  • How the New York City Opera’s bankruptcy illustrates the issues facing large-scale, nonprofit, performing arts entities; and
  • What leadership lessons Levy gained from his tenure at Lincoln Center.

About the Author

Reynold Levy is an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, a special adviser to a private equity firm, and a consultant to nonprofits.



“Parochialism Prevailed”
Reynold Levy took over as the president of New York City’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in March 2002 and held that post until January 31, 2014. While many people regard Lincoln Center as a place for the elite, Levy believes it belongs to working-class...

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