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If Harry Potter Ran General Electric: Leadership Wisdom from the World of the Wizards

Tom Morris, Author
Tom Morris, Author . Doubleday/Currency $24.95 (252p) ISBN 978-0-385-51754-6
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Following his business bestseller If Aristotle Ran General Motors , former philosophy professor Morris piggybacks on the popularity of J.K. Rowling's novels, conjuring philosophical parallels between the heroics of her fictional world and success in the corporate realm. He parses her stories for what they might tell us about the importance of virtues and ethics in the business world, referring a little to Aristotle and Kierkegaard for philosophical weight, plus a dash of eloquent advice from GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt for real-life relevance. In Morris's view, Harry Potter is the embodiment of courage—"doing what's right, not what's easy"—and the author delineates five steps to this virtue (e.g., "surround yourself with support") for real-world application. A natural leader, Harry takes after Headmaster Dumbledore, an "Aristotelian figure" and "the essence of leadership," a quality Morris compares to alchemy, since good leaders "transform ordinary people into great performers." Though Morris writes with grace and imagination, this chatty meditation may feel redundant for Harry Potter fans, miss the mark with readers uninitiated to the world of the wizards and disappoint those looking for concrete discussion of real business situations. (May)

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