In The Source of Success, Peter Georgescu, former CEO of the world-renowned advertising agency Young & Rubicam, reveals the nature of the new economic world, and shows what it takes to win in this intensely competitive arena. Georgescu presents a new standard of leadership that focuses on the key source of value in today’s corporation: the relationship between the informed customer and the creative employee—a relationship, he shows, that must be built with honesty and integrity. Georgescu’s vision rests on five crucial principles, which together can unleash a tremendous untapped reservoir of energy within our organizations, and within ourselves:
- Creative capacity and the brand integrity that grows from it are an organization’s most important assets.
- Enlightened leaders inspire creativity through understanding, cooperation, and respect.
- Competence and execution are as important as ever, but they must be aimed at building intimacy with the customer.
- Alignment is the critical concept for the twenty-first-century organization.
- Great companies don’t happen without leaders who have transformed themselves.
About the Author
Peter Georgescu is chairman emeritus of EYoung & Rubicam Inc. Under his leadership, EYoung & Rubicam transformed from a private to a publicly held company. The company built the most extensive database on global branding and from its findings developed a proprietary model for diagnosing and managing brands. Georgescu was elected to the Advertising Hall of Fame in 2001.
David Dorsey is the author of The Force, which was selected as one of the ten best business books of the year by BusinessWeek. He is a freelance writer who has contributed to magazines such as Fast Company, Esquire, and Inc., among others.
Table of Contents
Foreword, by Ram Charan.
1. The End of the World as We Know It.
2. Creativity: Tomorrow’s Factory Today.
3. Enlightened Leadership: No More Mr. Tough Guy.
4. Competency: The Essential Tools.
5. Alignment: The Magic Word.
6. Values: Dare to Be Good.
Postscript: A Better Chance.
What People are Saying About This
"In The Source of Success, Peter Georgescu tackles two issues that have special resonance in today’s business world: creativity and integrity. At the intersection of the two stands the type of enlightened business leader we need in the twenty-first century. Peter shares important insights forged through a remarkable career—and fascinating life story." Bob Wright, vice chairman, GE, and chairman and CEO, NBC Universal
"Peter Georgescu gives us all a lot to talk about in The Source of Success. He tells us what’s essential for business success and then shows us how to attain it. The core of this values-based business book is the belief that to be a business success you must be a good person. In a time of corporate scandal, his message has never been more right. A great read." Bill Bradley, U.S. Senator
"One of the most enduring principles for success is integrity, in both our professional and personal lives. The Source of Success should be considered a leadership compass for new, as well as established, executives to achieve greatness in today’s business world." Leonard A. Lauder, chairman, Estée Lauder
"Peter Georgescu eloquently articulates a vision of decency, fairness, and humanity in corporate life. A utopian dream? Not at all. What Georgescu is really describing is the optimum recipe for success in the twenty-first century." Vernon Jordan
"Peter Georgescu’s career has allowed him to work with some of the great companies and great leaders in the world. From this perspective he offers observations and very provocative advice on what it takes to win in today’s world of ‘excess supply.’ This is a book that really makes you think. The views are fresh; and Peter is a wonderful storyteller." Shelly Lazarus, chairman and CEO, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide
"With America still reeling from the orgy of corporate dishonesty and malfeasance symbolized by ENRON, there is already a backlash against more regulation of business. In this climate of cynicism and mistrust, this timely book comes as a breath of fresh air and courage. Corporate leaders may smile at being told they need to be honest and decent to succeed today, but this book should wipe the cynical smiles away. Peter Georgescu, former CEO of Young & Rubicam, warns that global forces have created a brutal new business environment in which productivity outstrips demand, the consumer has won, and every company’s survival is always at stake. Georgescu should know: on Madison Avenue he was a master shaper of demand. Now, he argues, to win and keep loyal customers, business will have to adopt revolutionary values: honesty, trust, respect for others, integrity, and accountability. Imagine! Those are the very values business has claimed to be observing all along." Robin MacNeil, newscaster, journalist, and author
"What I find so thoroughly refreshing about The Source of Success is that it presents a real-world practitioners’ approach to challenges which all of us, not just the five hundred men and women who run Fortune 500 firms, face on a day-to-day basis." Bernard B. Beal, chairman and CEO M R Beal & Company; chariman, A Better Chance
"Peter Georgescu’s long career exemplifies integrity and creativity. This profound book demonstrates why those qualities are crucial to success in business today." Lodewijk de Vink, former chairman, CEO, Warner Lambert
"Peter Georgescu describes the tsunami-like forces sweeping over all companies and industries today, and he provides the keys for survival, success, and prosperity in the new competitive landscape. He walks the walk." Robert Haas, chairman of the board, Levi Strauss & Co.
"Peter Georgescu writes a winning book, offering great insight and practical guidance to achieving evolutionary leadership through compassion, integrity and strength of character. No combination is more formidable than strategy and character and the habits of action one develops in meeting great challenges. An invaluable read!" Steve Heyer, president and CEO, Starwood
"The concept of universal surplus is one every business leader should take to heart. There are few, if any, real sustainable competitive advantages in the business world. As a result, every enterprise has to organize itself to win through intense and sustained change activity at all levels and in all segments of its activities. The five principles are those that can inspire and empower this kind of sustained change in a complex organization. People will follow, and multiply the actions of top management in ways we cannot even imagine. Peter brings all this to life in engaging examples." Michael H. Jordan, chairman of the board and CEO, EDS
"When Peter Georgescu speaks of the principles essential to success, he means principles, not motivational tools or management gimmicks. The Source of Success is fundamentally about developing the character and the wisdom you need to prevail in a highly competitive world. This is an essential book for today’s business leaders—and tomorrow’s." Mike Miles, former chairman, CEO, KFC, Kraft, Philip Morris
"This is a book written by one of America's most innovative and talented business leaders. His notion of a new competitive environment—one where supply greatly exceeds demand—explains why so many once dominant market leaders have faltered. They failed to learn how to compete effectively against faster-moving, more innovative new competitors. But it is Georgescu’s firsthand case examples of so many specific leaders’ successes and failures where so much learning and wisdom unfold. His experience-based assessment of what it takes to win in today’s much more competitive environment alone makes The Source of Success worth studying, not just reading." Andrall E. Pearson, former chairman, Yum! Brands
"Peter Georgescu’s riveting account of his boyhood is, in itself, well worth the price of this book. But his keen insights into the power of creativity and the nature of true leadership are laced with compelling, real-life examples, which make The Source of Success a winner, like the author himself." Keith Reinhard, chairman, DDB Worldwide