What It Takes Book Summary - What It Takes Book explained in key points

What It Takes summary

Stephen A. Schwarzman

Brief summary

What It Takes by Stephen A. Schwarzman offers valuable insights into the world of finance and business. It provides practical advice, personal anecdotes, and strategies for achieving success in both professional and personal endeavors.

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    What It Takes
    Summary of key ideas

    Understanding the Power of Ambition

    In What It Takes by Stephen A. Schwarzman, we are introduced to the author's early life and the experiences that shaped his ambition. Schwarzman shares how his father's small linen shop in Philadelphia instilled in him the value of hard work and the importance of customer service. He then takes us through his time at Yale, where he learned the power of networking and the importance of seizing opportunities.

    After graduating from Harvard Business School, Schwarzman began his career at Lehman Brothers, where he honed his skills in mergers and acquisitions. He then co-founded Blackstone, a private equity firm, with Peter Peterson. Schwarzman's journey from a modest upbringing to the pinnacle of the financial world serves as a testament to the power of ambition and hard work.

    Building a Successful Business

    In the middle section of What It Takes, Schwarzman delves into the intricacies of building and managing a successful business. He shares the core principles that have guided Blackstone's growth, including a relentless focus on excellence, a commitment to risk management, and a dedication to creating value for clients. Schwarzman also emphasizes the importance of company culture, highlighting how a positive and inclusive work environment can drive success.

    Throughout this section, Schwarzman provides valuable insights into the world of finance and private equity. He explains complex financial concepts in a clear and accessible manner, making them understandable to readers from all backgrounds. He also shares some of the key deals and investments that have shaped Blackstone's trajectory, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the world of high-stakes finance.

    Lessons in Leadership and Philanthropy

    As the narrative progresses, What It Takes shifts its focus to leadership and philanthropy. Schwarzman discusses the qualities of effective leadership, stressing the importance of decisiveness, resilience, and the ability to inspire others. He also shares his experiences in navigating the challenges of leading a global organization, offering valuable lessons for aspiring leaders.

    In the latter part of the book, Schwarzman delves into his philanthropic endeavors. He discusses the motivations behind his significant charitable contributions, including the establishment of the Schwarzman Scholars program in China. He emphasizes the importance of giving back to society and shares his vision for creating a positive impact on a global scale.

    Adapting to a Changing World

    In the final section of What It Takes, Schwarzman reflects on the rapidly changing global landscape and the challenges it presents. He discusses the impact of technological advancements, geopolitical shifts, and other macroeconomic trends on the world of finance and business. Schwarzman emphasizes the need for adaptability and continuous learning in order to thrive in this dynamic environment.

    Throughout the book, Schwarzman's narrative is interspersed with personal anecdotes, providing a human touch to his remarkable journey. He shares his successes and failures with equal candor, offering valuable insights for anyone striving for success in their personal or professional lives. In conclusion, What It Takes serves as a compelling guide to achieving excellence, navigating challenges, and making a meaningful impact in an ever-changing world.

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    What is What It Takes about?

    What It Takes by Stephen A. Schwarzman offers a behind-the-scenes look at the world of finance and business. Through personal anecdotes and valuable insights, Schwarzman shares the principles and strategies that have guided his remarkable career. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the mindset and determination required to achieve extraordinary success.

    What It Takes Review

    What It Takes (2019) by Stephen A. Schwarzman is an insightful memoir that chronicles the author's journey to success in the world of finance. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Packed with practical wisdom and firsthand experiences, it provides valuable lessons on how to navigate the business world and overcome challenges.
    • Through vivid stories and real-life examples, Schwarzman offers a unique perspective on leadership, decision-making, and building relationships.
    • The book's fascinating insider's view of high-stakes deals and influential figures in the financial industry ensures that it never becomes dull or boring.

    Who should read What It Takes?

    • Individuals interested in learning from the experiences of a successful business leader
    • Entrepreneurs seeking insights into building and growing a thriving organization
    • Professionals looking to elevate their leadership and decision-making skills

    About the Author

    Stephen A. Schwarzman is an American businessman and investor. He is the co-founder and CEO of the Blackstone Group, one of the world's leading investment firms. Schwarzman has had a remarkable career in finance, and his book, What It Takes, offers valuable insights into his journey and the principles that have guided his success. Through his philanthropic efforts and leadership, Schwarzman has made a significant impact on both the business world and society at large.

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    What It Takes FAQs 

    What is the main message of What It Takes?

    The main message of What It Takes is that success is achievable with determination, resilience, and a clear vision.

    How long does it take to read What It Takes?

    The reading time for What It Takes varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is What It Takes a good book? Is it worth reading?

    What It Takes is worth reading because it offers valuable insights into leadership, business, and personal development. It provides practical advice and real-life examples for achieving success.

    Who is the author of What It Takes?

    Stephen A. Schwarzman is the author of What It Takes.

    How many chapters are in What It Takes?

    What It Takes has 27 chapters.

    1. Introduction
    2. Part 1: Pathway
    3. Part 2: Relationships
    4. Part 3: People
    5. Part 4: Culture
    6. Part 5: Values
    7. Part 6: Success
    8. Part 7: Purpose
    9. Part 8: Values
    10. Part 9: Service
    11. Part 10: Challenges
    12. Part 11: Humility
    13. Part 12: Mindset
    14. Part 13: Leadership
    15. Part 14: Lifelong Learning
    16. Part 15: Legacy
    17. Part 16: Evolving
    18. Part 17: Standards
    19. Part 18: Execution
    20. Part 19: Innovation
    21. Part 20: Decision-Making
    22. Part 21: Impact
    23. Part 22: Accountability
    24. Part 23: Integrity
    25. Part 24: Transformation
    26. Part 25: Vision
    27. Part 26: Resilience
    28. Conclusion

    How many pages are in What It Takes?

    What It Takes contains 378 pages.

    When was What It Takes published?

    What It Takes was published in 2019.

    What to read after What It Takes?

    If you're wondering what to read next after What It Takes, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Start with Why (old version) by Simon Sinek
    • The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
    • Good to Great (old version) by Jim Collins
    • Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore
    • Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
    • Built to Last by Jim Collins
    • Start-up of You by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha
    • The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
    • Inspired by Marty Cagan
    • ReWork by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson