The first few chapters about his early life and career offer the most interesting insights into Schwarzman's personality and thinking. BLACKSTONE CEO STEPHEN SCHWARZMAN: Well, it’s -- it’s the Perils of Pauline. But behind these achievements is a man who has spent his life learning and reflecting on what it takes to achieve excellence, make an impact, and live a life of consequence. Instead of going straight to the dean and asking, which he knew would get shut down immediately, he decided to create a poll and reach out to many of the students for their opinion on this, whether they would care or this would distract them from their studies. So Stephen decided to pick up the phone after finding the admission's dean and telling him he got into two other Ivys and that Harvard should accept him. The chairman, chief executive and co-founder of Blackstone arrives 15 minutes late for our meeting at the private equity giant’s London headquarters … Schwarzman is also an active philanthropist, having given away more than a billion dollars. With a Yale Degree, a Harvard MBA, and a few Wall Street jobs under his belt, Schwarzman feels like your typical financier with a perfect resume. He is the chairman and CEO of The Blackstone Group, a global private equity firm he established in 1985 with former chairman and CEO of Lehman Brothers and US Secretary of Commerce Peter G. Peterson. “What It Takes is a must-read book, filled with the experiences of one of the great business success stories of the last 30 years—Blackstone. Summary: A lot of great take aways that are then fully summarized in the list in the back. We’ve been through a lot of difference cycles here in two and a half years. Readers have a lot to look forward to this year! It's also intriguing to read about clusters of successful people who all meet each other along the way. Reinforced the ideas that timing is tremendously important - being early in private equity enabled him to find the lower hanging fruit and build the track record. Must redeem within 90 days. Building Blackstone into the leading global financial institution it is today didn’t come easy. During grad school I remember constantly hearing about the "the biggest transaction in (somewhere)" or "the worlds most (something) in real estate"... and nine times out of ten, Blackstone was at the heart of it. He decided to stick it out and graduate. Yet his grit and determination through this difficult time helped him see through one of the most successful enterprises that has been created in America in the last 50 years. This is just an exceptional book. Absurd. Despite several insightful reflections on sound principles and values on building a healthy company culture, it was hard to interpret the remaining parts of the book as more than continuous self-promotion that didn’t really provide much value. Schwarzman really seems to have an eye for talent, and holds himself responsible for being dedicated to achieving big things with a perfection-based approach. In this book, Steve Schwarzman chronicles his and Blackstone’s journey to the top of global business.  The book is filled with fresh insights and personal experiences that everyone—from students to CEOs—will relate to and learn from.” —Jack Welch, Former Chairman and CEO of General ElectricÂ, “The real story of what it takes from a man who could turn dreams into realities.” —Ray Dalio, founder, Co-CIO and Co-Chairman of Bridgewater Associates, “What It Takes is a must-read, inspirational account of how Stephen A. Schwarzman built Blackstone into one of the world’s top global asset management companies and leveraged his resources, know-how, and vision to spearhead bold philanthropic programs and provide trusted advice to a generation of political leaders around the globe.” —Janet Yellen, Former Chair of the Federal Reserve, “A series of thoughtful reflections derived from the author’s extraordinary life, which has already left its mark on the worlds of finance, politics, and education and made each the better for it. Steve Schwarzman has a lot of interesting things to say, as an exacting and highly successful CEO of the most successful alternative asset manager in the world. From Blackstone chairman, CEO, and co-founder Stephen A. Schwarzman, a long-awaited book that uses impactful episodes from Schwarzman's life to show readers how to build, transform, and lead thriving organizations. He turned $400,000 of seed money into an asset management company that is currently managing over $500 billion - a growth rate of about 50 percent a year! The dean pretty much told him to "fuck off." History of The Blackstone Group. Didn't meet high expectations, an independant biography would be much more insightful. Filled with the challenges it takes to build a financial empire, this book underscores the trials and tribulations of launching any new business. His personal fortune is estimated at $19 billion as of October 2020, ranking him at 64th on the World's Billionaires list. Whether you are a student, entrepreneur, philanthropist, executive, or simply someone looking for ways to maximize your potential, the Some of my personal learnings from Schwarzman's account of building Blackstone are: When the Founder of Blackstone writes a book about his life story, you have to read it! He is known in the media as the 'Blackstone Bachelor' but to the people who know him closely, he is kind and sweet and caring-willing to risk it all for those he loves-even if that means risking himself in the process. Select Your Cookie Preferences. He’s the CEO whose views are sought by heads of state. After leading Lehman Brothers' M&A department, Schwarzman was used to dealing with important people who were eager to take his call. Matthew Lennox’s entire life was driven by one thing: Lennox Corporation. When the dean said no, he told him you're making a mistake and I will be successful. At times, the book reads a bit like a list of accomplishments that Schwarzman can't wait to brag about (can't blame the guy given his success, but still gets a bit tiring). A regularly cringe inducing autobiography built around chapters with self help inspired titles and the occasional, borderline cliche life advice aside. A regularly cringe inducing autobiography built around chapters with self help inspired titles and the occasional, borderline cliche life advice aside. Truly inspiring for. Senator for MassachusettsÂ, “From his start as an entrepreneur working in his family’s linen store in 1950s Philadelphia, Steve Schwarzman has made towering contributions to finance, relations between the U.S. and China, and computing, including a seminal investment in AI research that will help establish the age of intelligence. On this episode, we talk to Blackstone Group CEO and What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence author Stephen Schwarzman about everything from learning to co-exist with a college roommate who was a literal Nazi to what wiping down grease in a Scandanavian ship’s 120-degree engine room over one summer taught him about the value of earning a quick promotion. When the dean said. The author's life story is definitely fascinating. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. This is my 2019 Book award. Steve has good advice to give, and clearly the principles that he has followed have contributed greatly to his success over his career. A true exemplar of someone who thought big, was an opportunist during the nascent days of PE, and never found a challenge he wasn't confident he could overcome. Imagine believing creative entrepreneurship is the founding of another investment company. to gain more meaningful insight into the wisdom of the advice. But since it only came out a few months ago, here we are, and I guess late is better than never. Schwarzman’s simple mantra “don’t lose money” has helped Blackstone become a leading private equity and real estate investor, and manager of alternative assets for institutional investors globally. Start by marking “What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence” as Want to Read: Error rating book. Steve’s experience is absolutely remarkable - Yale and HBS grad, partner at Lehman’s, founder of Blackstone. A great read!” —John Kerry, Former U.S. Secretary of State and U.S. Mr. Schwarzman has been involved in all phases of Blackstone’s development since its founding in 1985. Schwarzman focused intensely on culture, hiring great talent, and establishing processes that allow the firm to systematically analyze and evaluate risk. I got this book from an HBS conference after Tony’s “relentless” reference to Steve in his speech. WHAT IT TAKES by Stephen A. Schwarzian From Blackstone chairman, CEO, and co-founder Stephen A. Schwarzman, a long-awaited book that uses impactful episodes from Schwarzman's life to show readers how to build, transform, and lead thriving organizations. I agree with Tony - he is a relentless banker and never stops solving problems. By clicking 'Sign me up' I acknowledge that I have read and agree to the privacy policy and terms of use. In this brief and insightful volume, Schwarzman has identified several key qualities required for excellence in any field, including a tireless sense of curiosity, a tolerance for risk, and an eye for the humble detail.” —Henry A. Kissinger, Former U.S. Secretary of State and National Security Advisor, “Stephen Schwarzman has lived the American dream: a self-made icon in his field, turned philanthropist, who has long worked with creativity and vision to deepen relationships between individuals and countries. Humble, candid, funny and real, Steve offers wisdom and the gift of much needed common sense chapter by chapter and experience by experience. From calling the dean of admissions at Harvard as a high school student when he was rejected, to walking into the President's office at Yale as a freshman to advocate students' rights, his assertiveness and self-confidence were quite admirable. Blackstone’s Stephen A. Schwarzman’s new book, What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence, is a must-read for everyone who wants to know what it really takes to achieve success in work and life. In his book, Blackstone founder and CEO Stephen Schwarzman takes his readers through “What it Takes” to build one of the most successful alternative investment firms in the world from the ground up. Mr. Schwarzman is an active philanthropist with a history of supporting education, culture, and the arts, among other areas. Schwarzman briefly served as Chairman of President Donald Trump's Stra… In high finance circles, Stephen Schwarzman needs no … founding new groundbreaking investment companies. I thoroughly enjoyed Schwarzman's incredibly successful journey through life. He had an unruly sense of good ideas and many of them worked out extremely well for him and his partners. Jan 13, 2021. markets. It’s eye opening that someone who’s achieved such extraordinary things can have such shallow motivations (money and prestige) and still seek so much external validation. After undergrad, he went on to work at DLJ where he knew nothing about finance and they would not train him. © 2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved. Time will tell if they achieve the desired results but it is no question AI and China will be heavely involved in any future of this world. His rise is just so epic, I enjoyed the narrative more than I expected going in. Beyond the titles, he invested in the top education program between China and US; he helped President Obama in resolving the Connecticut shooting; he was actively involved in the trade talks. Afterward, it was quite literally, history. Even just reading his story and seeing his perspective on the GFC, international trade talks and collaborating with Chinese leaders gives such a unique view of his ongoing success. Sheldon Blackstone, CEO of the legendary stud farm that bears his name, has a lot to be grateful for, along with some regrets. Tell us what you like and we'll recommend books you'll love. Stephen decided to write to someone he admired, and fortunately for him, he wrote him back with a six-page letter indicating all the importance of finishing your MBA. I agree with Tony - he is a relentless banker and never stops solving problems. I would read the book though for the same reason one reads the underlying story behind a parable, i.e. The story is fairly engaging, going over big moments chronologically in his rise from college to the helm of Blackstone. Stephen eventually graduated and took a job as an investment banker at Lehman Brothers, where he did extremely well, working his way up to Managing Director of the Mergers and Acquisitions department. I just miss what I think is an important chapter of Blackstone’s history: the spin-off of its advisory division and its merger with PJT Partners in 2015. Stephen A. Schwarzman is Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Blackstone, one of the world’s leading investment firms with $584 billion Assets Under Management (as of September 30, 2020). Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. His grades and athleticism got him into Yale. Steve has good advice to give, and clearly the principles that he has followed have contributed greatly to his success over his career. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. He wanted a way to stand out and be selected to become a member of the skull and bones his senior year, so he decided to find a way for females to be allowed to stay over in the dorms, which was currently forbidden as the school was male-only at the time. So Stephen decided to pick up the phone after finding the admission's dean and telling him he got into two other Ivys and that Harvard should accept him. Thank you for signing up, fellow book lover! Mr Schwarzman has been a big supporter of … I am most impressed with his values and principles that drive his decisions and the impact that he has created. His gifts have ranged from creating a new College of Computing at MIT for the study of artificial intelligence, to establishing a first-of-its-kind student and performing arts center at Yale, to enabling the renovation of the iconic New York Public Library, to founding the Schwarzman Scholars fellowship program at Tsinghua University in Beijing—the single largest philanthropic effort in China’s history from international donors. A cold, unfeeling dragon shifter CEO + mysterious woman on the run who perks up his dragon's interest = action, adventure, heart-wrenching romance and an HEA guaranteed to satisfy you! 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