What It Takes
Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence
'This story literally has what it takes: the anecdotes, the insights and, most of all, the values to guide the next generation of entrepreneurs.' Mark Carney
'The real story of what it takes from a man who could turn dreams into realities.' Ray Dalio
'Candid, funny and real, Steve offers wisdom and the gift of much-needed common sense chapter by chapter and experience by experience. A great read!' John Kerry
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 organisations. Whether you are a student, entrepreneur, philanthropist, executive or simply someone looking for ways to maximise your potential, the same lessons apply.
People know who Stephen Schwarzman is - at least they think they do. He’s the man who took $400,000 and co-founded Blackstone, the investment firm that manages over $500 billion (as of January 2019). He’s the CEO whose views are sought by heads of state. 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.
Folding handkerchiefs in his father’s linen shop, Schwarzman dreamed of a larger life, filled with purpose and adventure. After starting his career in finance with a short stint at a financial firm called DLJ, Schwarzman began working at Lehman Brothers where he ascended to run the mergers and acquisitions practice. He eventually partnered with his mentor and friend Pete Peterson to found Blackstone, vowing to create a new and different kind of financial institution.
Building Blackstone into the leading global financial institution it is today didn’t come easy. 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.
From deal-making to investing, leadership to entrepreneurship, philanthropy to diplomacy, Schwarzman has lessons for how to think about ambition and scale, risk and opportunities, and how to achieve success through the relentless pursuit of excellence. Schwarzman not only offers readers a thoughtful reflection on all his own experiences, but in doing so provides a practical blueprint for success.