The Jim Stengel I Know

14 Feb 2012
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Jerry Kathman

I was delighted to read Jim Stengel’s book, Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World’s Greatest Companies. Jim brings some interesting and timely new thinking to the business world about the inseparability of ideals and profit. He makes his case well and supports it with compelling research.

Throughout the book Jim weaves a personal journey, one of both discovery and validation. As readers delve into the book they will discover what Jim learned early in life and what he has placed at the heart of his business relationships throughout his career: that ideals have economic impact.

To be great you need to be good and in an age where we are desperately searching for authenticity, the privilege of knowing a fellow like Jim is in and of itself a pleasure. I’ve worked with Jim in both Europe and North America. What I personally found delightful in Jim’s book is that the Jim Stengel that I have known for decades is the Jim that shows up here. Knowing that people like Jim can be successful and admired broadly, while delivering great success for his company is even better.

In his new role, Jim has been working with our company as we examine our ideals. LPK has an authentic narrative of our own to build upon. We have been grounded in our values since the day that Mort Libby formed the company in a leveraged buyout from Young & Rubicam in 1983. Like Jim, we had an intuitive sense of our north star, but by exploring new dimensions of our purpose formally in the sessions that Jim conducted with us, I think we are taking this thinking to another level. We face the challenge of making sure that our ideals show up with us, everyday and everywhere. I take great comfort in knowing that Jim is helping guide us as we bring our ideals to life in our brand promise.

I know that I am enjoying the journey.