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What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence

People know who Stephen Schwarzman is - at least they think they do. He's the man who took $400,000 and co-founded The Blackstone Group, the private equity firm that now manages over $434 billion. He's the CEO heads of state the world over rely on to help them solve problems and think about the future. He's the billionaire philanthropist who founded the Schwarzman Scholars program in Beijing, this century's version of the Rhodes Scholarship program. But underneath these achievements and this success is a man who has spent on his life learning and reflecting on what it takes to achieve excellence and to make an impact in the world.

For Schwarzman, the most influential figure in his life wasn't a business school professor, Wall Street banker or foreign world leader; it was his high school track coach, who pushed him far beyond what he thought was his breaking point. Folding laundry in his father's linen shop throughout school, Schwarzman dreamed of a larger life, filled with adventure and interesting people. Schwarzman's grades and running ability got him into Yale, where he began to meet those people. He spent one summer working as an engine room wiper aboard a cargo ship, travelling through the Caribbean and South America, seeing a sliver of that larger world he wanted to join.

After a six-month stint in Army basic training in Fort Polk, Louisiana, Schwarzman returned to New York and began working at Lehman Brothers. Schwarzman recounts the cast of characters he met as he worked his way up the company and throughout the industry. He recalls teaching finance to a young General Electric employee named Jack Welch. He tells the story of how he singlehandedly engineered the sale of Tropicana for $400 million on behalf of Lehman. He was promoted, and became a Managing Director at the age of 31. From there, he continued this ascent, eventually partnering with his mentor and good friend Pete Peterson, to travel the world seeking financing for their joint venture called "Blackstone," a combination of the roots of each of their last names.

Schwarzman's work at Blackstone ultimately helped define the world we know today. He ushered in innovative management techniques and deal structures for the private equity industry. He helped Blackstone become the biggest holder of real estate in the world. He took the company public, earning praise for his decision to manage "a different kind of company" (words made famous in the offering statement). He has gone on to change the world through his philanthropic endeavors, ranging from the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing to the New York Public Library to the "Schwarzman Scholars," a program at Tsinghua University in Beijing, the single largest philanthropic effort in China's history.

A book filled with practical wisdom, Schwarzman's story is an empowering, entertaining, and informative guide for anyone looking to strive for more. Schwarzman not only offers thoughtful reflection on all he's achieved, but provides a blueprint for readers, giving them access to one of the most extraordinary minds of our time.
RRP $45.00
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PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Title: What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence
  • Author: Stephen A. Schwarzman
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • ISBN: 9781471189555

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$50

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$40

$50

$60

$70

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$60

$70

$80

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$50

$65

$75

$90

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$75

$85

$100

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$60

$80

$95

$105

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$85

$100

$115

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$95

$110

$125

 

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