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The Meaning Revolution: The Power of Transcendent Leadership

May 2018
9781524760731 (Currency, Hardcover) - 9780753548585 (WH Allen, Paperback)

Advisor of Leadership at Google and former vice president of leadership at LinkedIn claims that the biggest driver of motivation is the chance to serve a larger purpose beyond our careers and ourselves, rather than salary, benefits, bonuses, or other material incentives; companies that are able to successfully focus their people, their teams, and their culture around meaning outperform their competition.

Fred Kofman’s approach to leadership has little to do with the standard practices taught in business school and traditional books. Bringing together economics and business theory, communications and conflict resolution, family counseling and mindfulness mediation, Kofman argues in The Meaning Revolution that our most deep-seated, unspoken, and universal anxiety stems from our fear that our life is being wasted–that the end of life will overtake us when our song is still unsung. Material incentives–salary and benefits–account for perhaps 15 percent of employees’ motivation at work. The other 85 percent is driven by a need to belong, a feeling that what we do day in and day out makes a difference, that how we spend our time on earth serves a larger purpose beyond just ourselves.

Kofman claims that transcendental leaders, wherever they are in the hierarchy, are able to put aside their self-interests and help others to feel connected with others on a team or in an organization on a great mission and part of an ennobling purpose. He argues that every organization involved in work that is nonviolent and non addictive has what he calls an “immortality project” at its core. And the challenge for leaders is to identify and expand on that core, to inspire all stakeholders to take part.

 

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Learn more about Fred Kofman's philosophy.

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«The Meaning Revolution makes the case that leadership isn’t just about the mind. It’s also about the spirit. Fred’s book shows how when we set goals that reflect our values as well as our interests—when our teams strive to make a positive impact on the world together—we can achieve more than success. We can find greater purpose and meaning».

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and founder of LeanIn.org and OptionB.org

«Welcome to the rigorously reasoned, deeply heartfelt, and always enlightening mind of Fred Kofman. Trained as an economist, with stops along the way as a management professor and consultant, Fred’s official title at LinkedIn is Vice President of Executive Development. But I have a shorter name for what he does. I call him the High Priest of Capitalism».

Reid Hoffman, founder and former chairman of LinkedIn; board member of Microsoft (from the foreword to the book)

«'Transcendent Leadership' is exactly the kind of enlightened approach that today’s leaders must embrace to win in the workplace and in the marketplace».

Doug Conant, founder and CEO of Conant Leadership; former CEO of Campbell Soup Company

«I believe culture needs to be about realizing personal passions and using the company as a platform to pursue those passions. Fred Kofman explores that notion even more deeply through vivid stories and truly profound reflections on business leadership and conscious capitalism. What is your noble purpose? Are your kids proud of your company’s mission? Why might the biggest beneficiary of your business be your competitors’ customers and employees? Read on!».

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft

«As Fred Kofman makes brilliantly clear in The Meaning Revolution, real leadership is not about hitting your numbers—it’s about creating a culture of purpose and meaning, and inspiring others to realize that they can make a lasting difference in the world around them».

Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO of Thrive Global

«Fred’s teaching has been a source of inspiration for me since the early Yahoo! days. As I work across the Pacific with companies and teams, there is a palpable groundswell of yearning for new ways of harnessing what ultimately matters: people and their motivations. This book shows a way forward with a compelling intellectual core and a guiding spiritual path. It comes at a time as technologies are changing the world in ever more profound ways, and I hope Fred’s work will catalyze a Kuhnian paradigm shift in leadership that helps accelerated pace of human progress».

Qi Lu, CEO of Baidu (China).

«Fred is one of the most enlightened people I’ve met in business. Over the last decade, he has consistently provided me insights that have changed the way I see myself and connect with others. The Meaning Revolution will do the same for you».

Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn

«The Meaning Revolution reminds us of the importance of moral authority, trust, compassion, and integrity for effective leadership. Building on his consultancy experience, former MIT Sloan professor and currently LinkedIn VP Fred Kofman gives life to these concepts through numerous personal observations. Well written and insightful, the book is a must-read for all those interested in leadership».

Drew Fudenberg (professor of economics, MIT) and Jean Tirole (Nobel Laureate in economics, Toulouse School of Economics); authors of Game Theory

«I always knew in my heart that conscious capitalism cannot exist without conscious leadership, but I didn’t know how to prove this to the satisfaction of people’s minds. Fred has accomplished a great feat. He has integrated rationality and spirituality to show how transcendent leadership is the key for humanity to prosper in peace».

John Mackey, founder and former CEO of Whole Foods

«The path to effective leadership that Fred Kofman lays out isn’t trivially easy to follow, but if you follow it you’ll be much more than an effective leader. You’ll be an honest, empathetic, and inspiring human being who is living a deeply meaningful life. Kofman argues that vocational growth and personal growth are inextricable, and he is well positioned to make that argument. In addition to being a highly accomplished scholar and business consultant, he is a deeply reflective thinker who has subjected his own life to the kind of bracing scrutiny that he recommends for others. The word ‘spiritual’ is overused, but The Meaning Revolution deserves that label. You can’t read this book without asking yourself deep and invaluable questions about your life and your calling».

Robert Wright, senior lecturer at Princeton; author of The Evolution of God, The Moral Animal, Nonzero, and Why Buddhism Is True

«A pleasure to read. Fred Kofman uses his academic training and consulting experience to show us that economic concepts are crucial to understand and improve organizations’ leadership and culture».

Jacques Lawarrée, professor of economics at University of Washington at Seattle

«In this brilliant follow-up to his seminal book Conscious Business, Kofman distills the wisdom he has accumulated in decades of work advising and coaching the leaders of major companies around the world. Beautifully written, this book illuminates ‘the simplicity on the other side of complexity’ that Oliver Wendell Holmes said he would give his life for. It is an essential guide to creating organizations that become sources of flourishing, meaning, fulfillment, and healing in a world that can no longer afford the unnecessary consequences of ‘business as usual.’».

Raj Sisodia, FW Olin Distinguished Professor of Global Business, Babson College; cofounder and chairman emeritus, Conscious Capitalism International

«Most of what comes from Silicon Valley today seems to imply scary outcomes for humans and society at large. But here comes Fred Kofman: leadership is a social technology, whose function is to increase the pride of belonging to a wider effort, restore people’s self-esteem, and ultimately give the unreasonable nonsense of the world, especially the business world, a chosen, conscious meaning. Recounted with the passion of a practitioner and the precision of a philosopher, The Meaning Revolution is equal parts powerful and pleasurable to read».

Laurent Choain, chief people and communications officer, Mazars, France

«This wonderful book is full of practical wisdom. Kofman’s great skill is to be able to draw upon profound ideas about meaning, work, happiness, motivation, and even death; to give concrete advice about how we can live better lives and build better companies. Like the best teachers, Kofman is an engaging storyteller, and like the best guides, his stories carry weight because he has traveled this path himself and shown many people the way. The Meaning Revolution is a pleasure to read and will change the way you think about your job as a leader».

John Weeks, professor of leadership and organizational behavior at IMD

«An exceptional, unbiased, and unfiltered deconstruction of leadership and management of people and organizations. Fred Kofman completely debunks the ‘one style fits all’ view on leadership and gives us an alternative view on what works where and how we can better manage and inspire people. A simple, direct, and profoundly helpful guide to extraordinary management and connecting to others through purpose».

Mohammad Abdulla Al Gergawi, minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, United Arab Emirates

«The unique insights that Fred Kofman shares in this book have changed the way I lead and manage. They are at once simple enough to be immediately applicable and profound enough to merit a lifetime of practice».

Mike Gamson, senior vice president of Global Sales Solutions, LinkedIn

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