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The Heart of Business summary

Hubert Joly & Caroline Lambert

Leadership Principles for the Next Era of Capitalism

4.2 (26 ratings)
7 mins

Brief summary

The Heart of Business examines the importance of human connection in modern business, emphasizing the need for a sense of purpose and shared values. It offers practical guidance on nurturing an inclusive and purpose-driven company culture.

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    The Heart of Business
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    Purpose-driven business

    One of Joly’s first acts as CEO was leading Best Buy to re-examine its reason for existing. What role could the company play in society beyond making money? After much reflection, it arrived at “enriching lives through technology.”

    Joly restructured the organization to align with this vision. Each store was empowered to understand and serve its local community's needs. Leaders modeled the purpose by visiting stores to solicit feedback. This inspirational purpose began to provide deeper meaning to employees' daily work and Joly upgraded training and compensation to show that employees mattered.

    In short, pursuing a noble purpose wasn’t just a motto to Joly. It guided decisions and reminded staff that their work had real meaning. When people feel connected to a company's higher purpose, he found, they bring renewed passion.

    Before Joly, Best Buy had become known for high-pressure sales tactics and indifferent employees just looking to hit sales targets. Customer service wasn’t a priority. Employees pushed expensive accessories and services with little regard for customers' actual needs. Their goal was to maximize the amount each customer spent.

    Joly's renewed focus on purpose changed that mentality. He emphasized that Best Buy could only enrich lives by first understanding customer needs. Employees were trained to listen, build relationships, and provide solutions tailored to each customer. Rather than upselling, employees aimed to match customers with the right products and services the first time. 

    By focusing on purpose over sales targets, Best Buy transformed its stores from transactional to consultative and relationship-based. Customers returned because they appreciated associates who took the time to listen and provide expertise beyond just selling.

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    What is The Heart of Business about?

    The Heart of Business (2021) recounts how former Best Buy CEO, Hubert Joly, led the electronics retailer to a remarkable turnaround by building a people-centric culture focused on a higher purpose. It provides a roadmap for value-driven leadership that engages employees, serves customers, and creates sustainable value for all stakeholders.

    The Heart of Business Review

    The Heart of Business by Hubert Joly & Caroline Lambert (2021) presents insightful perspectives on combining purpose and profit in the corporate world. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It offers real-world case studies and examples that demonstrate the power of purpose-driven business, inspiring readers to build organizations with a greater impact.
    • With its practical tips on transforming company culture, fostering employee engagement, and nurturing customer relationships, this book provides actionable advice for business leaders.
    • The authors' compelling storytelling and relatable anecdotes make this book a compelling read, ensuring that readers stay engaged throughout and making the topic of business exciting and relevant.

    Who should read The Heart of Business?

    • Leaders seeking purpose-driven business approaches
    • Struggling business owners or entrepreneurs seeking transformation
    • Students of modern management principles

    About the Author

    Hubert Joly is a prominent business leader who served as CEO of Best Buy from 2012 to 2019, during which time he led a dramatic turnaround of the struggling electronics retailer. He now teaches strategic leadership and transformation courses at Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, where he serves as an executive in residence.

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    The Heart of Business FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Heart of Business?

    The main message of The Heart of Business is the key to successful leadership lies in putting people first.

    How long does it take to read The Heart of Business?

    The reading time for The Heart of Business varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Heart of Business a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Heart of Business is worth reading because it offers valuable insights into creating a purpose-driven and people-centric approach to business.

    Who is the author of The Heart of Business?

    The authors of The Heart of Business are Hubert Joly and Caroline Lambert.

    What to read after The Heart of Business?

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