About the Book

Here is the authoritative and untold story of Marvin Bower, the visionary who transformed McKinsey from a fledgling accounting and engineering practice into the world’s premier management consulting firm. In the process, he became recognized as the father of management consulting. The biography of Marvin Bower, a leader's leader, provides lessons as valuable today as they were in 1933 when he first joined James O. McKinsey.

Elizabeth Haas Edersheim’s McKinsey’s Marvin Bower reveals the insight, integrity, and business acumen of the “grey eminence” who led McKinsey, inspired hundreds of leaders, and was one of the century’s most successful entrepreneurs. This book takes the reader on a fascinating journey which details Marvin Bower’s personal beliefs, foresight, and professional involvement in virtually every major change in the scope and fabric of 20th century business. Outspoken yet humble, visionary yet practical, Bower built an institution – McKinsey & Co. – equipped and designed to provide critical advice to top business and government leaders.

Woven throughout the book are anecdotes shared by the legion of business titans he influenced, among them Thomas Watson, Lou Gerstner, and David Ogilvy. These and other examples illustrate how Marvin Bower:

  • helped senior management teams create unique cultures and organize their companies for growth
  • placed the interests of clients before the firm itself
  • pioneered a business culture that elevated the personal and corporate values of integrity, and respect above all else
  • lived his belief that every business leader has a responsibility to help increase the strength and character-building contributions of our private-enterprise system, and contribute to their communities
  • elevated the standing of business schools as a primary recruiting ground for business.

Publisher: Wiley
Publication Date: April 2004
ISBN: 0-471-652857