Book Club Channel
Mother Teresa, CEO: A Book Excerpt
Lou's Story: I was working late one night when my telephone suddenly interrupted me. Before I could finish saying hello, an excited voice yelled out, "Lou! Lou! You'll never believe the conversation I had today! I was at lunch with the editor of Fortune Small Business and..." I don't think she stopped to take a breath before she ended with, "He asked me if I'd be interested in writing an article on the management secrets of Mother Teresa! Can you believe that?" It was clear to me in that moment that a great idea had been born. I let her finish her story and catch her breath, and with a smile, I said, "Ruma, don't write the article. Write the book."
"Really? A book? That's a great idea! But I don't know the first thing about writing a book! Well, if I write this book, then you have to write this book with me. Deal?"
Her enthusiasm was so contagious that I didn't realize what I was signing up for when I said "Yes." But almost two years later, I'm glad I did. The result of that conversation is the book you are holding.
I have more than thirty years of business experience, including ten on Wall Street at Salomon Brothers. I've worked in New York, San Francisco, Tokyo, and many places in between. I have held management positions in large companies and have made my own photocopies in start-ups. I've been the CEO of three institutionally funded companies. I only wish I had had the leadership principles you are about to learn when I started my career. They would have made my life and the lives of the people I was trying to lead a whole lot easier and better!
This book will give you a leadership framework that you can use every day as you confront the challenges you face, both personal and professional. When you commit to these principles and apply them consistently, they will make a positive difference in your life and to your organization.
This book is not meant to be an exhaustive analysis of how Mother Teresa ran the Missionaries of Charity. That is a very different book and one we will leave for others. Instead, it is built around simple stories that we hope will inspire you and demonstrate the eight leadership principles that led Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity to build one of the most successful organizations in the world.
You, the reader, will now have the opportunity to hear the story that Ruma shared for many hours at lunch that fateful afternoon in answer to the question, "What was Mother Teresa's leadership style like?"
Enjoy the journey.