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HOWARD'S GIFT by Eric C. Sinoway


Uncommon Wisdom to Inspire Your Life's Work

by Eric C. Sinoway with Merrill Meadow

Pub Date: Oct. 2nd, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-250-00424-6
Publisher: St. Martin's

The man who essentially invented the concept of entrepreneurship discusses some of the lessons he's learned.

A few weeks after passing a complete physical exam with flying colors, Howard Stevenson lay on the ground in the throes of a major heart attack. Technically dead for four full minutes, he was revived against the odds. Sinoway, a former student turned friend, decided it would be a loss to the business world to not put in writing some of the wisdom Stevenson has gathered through his more than 40 years of teaching at Harvard Business School. (The list of his students who went on to business success is as long as it is populated with recognizable names, including Weather Channel creator Frank Batten and Brazilian billionaire Jorge Paolo Lemann.) Stevenson and Sinoway worked together with Meadow to write this collection of anecdotes and advice for entrepreneurs and other business-minded readers. A characteristic question posed by the author and Stevenson gives an idea of the book’s tone: "How did you approach the whole challenge of figuring out your core capacities, identifying where you have competitive advantages, and matching them to career goals?" A key concept returned to repeatedly in the text is “inflection points,” the times in our lives where we face a pivotal decision. Regrettably, both Stevenson and Sinoway employ a great deal of jargon at the expense of lucidity, and though they chuckle together over terminology like "latent motivational energy,” baffled readers are unlikely to be laughing with them.

Will resonate most with those who have already sat through Stevenson's classes.