And if the company was driven by the Heart, what results could we achieve? The experience of an exceptional transformation -that of Best Buy, 125,000 employees- between 2012 -when challenged by Amazon, given as “lost”- and 2019, then in full growth for 5 years, is now an international reference. Best Buy’s share price went from a low of $11 in November 2012 to more than $110 in 2020 – Hubert Joly, CEO of Best Buy.
Overall, “The Heart of Business” is a useful guide for leaders who are looking to build a successful and sustainable business that is grounded in a strong sense of purpose and values. Joly’s insights are practical and actionable, and his examples are compelling and inspiring.
“The Heart of Business” by Hubert Joly is a book that explores the importance of purpose-driven leadership in modern businesses. Joly draws on his experience as the former CEO of Best Buy to provide practical insights on how to lead with purpose and build a thriving organization. He argues that purpose-driven leadership is essential for modern businesses because it helps to attract and retain top talent, build brand loyalty among customers, and create a sense of meaning and fulfillment for employees. He notes that companies that focus solely on maximizing profits often struggle to create long-term value and may suffer from high turnover rates and low employee engagement.
The book is organized around seven key principles, including putting people first, creating a clear and compelling purpose, embracing a culture of experimentation, and focusing on sustainable and ethical practices.
Joly emphasizes the importance of building strong relationships with employees, customers, and other stakeholders. One of the key themes in the book is the importance of empathy and emotional intelligence in leadership. Joly emphasizes the need for leaders to listen carefully to the needs and concerns of employees and customers and to create a culture of trust and respect. He also encourages leaders to be vulnerable and to share their own experiences and challenges in order to build stronger relationships with others.
Joly argues that a clear and compelling purpose is essential for any successful business. He provides numerous examples of companies that have developed powerful mission statements and purpose-driven cultures, including Patagonia, The Body Shop, and Ben & Jerry’s. Joly notes that a strong purpose can help to align employees around a common goal and provide a sense of direction and meaning for the organization as a whole.
Another important theme in the book is the need for businesses to embrace a culture of experimentation and innovation. Joly encourages leaders to be open to new ideas and to create an environment where employees feel comfortable taking risks and trying new approaches. He notes that companies that are too focused on maintaining the status quo are likely to fall behind their competitors over time.
Finally, Joly emphasizes the importance of sustainability and ethical practices in business. He argues that companies that prioritize environmental and social responsibility are more likely to attract and retain customers who are concerned about these issues. He also notes that businesses that engage in unethical or exploitative practices are likely to face legal and reputational risks that can undermine their long-term success.
Overall, “The Heart of Business” is a practical and insightful guide to purpose-driven leadership that draws on Joly’s experiences as the former CEO of Best Buy and his research into leading companies around the world. The book is well-written, engaging, and full of useful advice for leaders who are looking to build successful and sustainable businesses.
Hubert Joly, 62 and born in France, is the former CEO and chairman of Best Buy, which he left in 2020, after a career at McKinsey, EDS, Vivendi and Carlson Wagons-Lits. He is now a senior lecturer at the Harvard Business School in addition to being a member of various Boards of Directors (Ralph Lauren, Johnson & Johnson). He has been elected a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum (Davos 1997 – 1999) and wrote The Heart of Business in 2020 shortly after leaving Best Buy. The book ranked among the Wall Street Journal bestsellers immediately after its release and is now ranking #126 on the USA Today list of bestselling books.