What It Takes "Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence" by Stephen A. Schwarzman is a memoir and leadership book that provides insights into Schwarzman's career, including his founding and leadership of The Blackstone Group, one of the world's largest private equity firms. The book offers practical lessons on business, leadership, and success. Here are the key ideas from the book:
The Pursuit of Excellence
Schwarzman emphasizes the importance of pursuing excellence in all aspects of life and business. He shares his experiences and strategies for achieving success.
The Power of Relationships
The book underscores the significance of building strong relationships and networks. Schwarzman discusses how his relationships with mentors, colleagues, and business partners played a crucial role in his career.
Entrepreneurship and Risk-Taking
Schwarzman discusses his entrepreneurial journey, including the founding of The Blackstone Group. He highlights the role of calculated risk-taking in building a successful business.
Adaptability and Resilience
Schwarzman shares stories of overcoming challenges and setbacks in his career. He emphasizes the importance of resilience and adaptability in the face of adversity.
Team Building and Leadership
The book provides insights into effective team building and leadership. Schwarzman discusses how he built a talented and cohesive team at Blackstone.
The Art of Negotiation
Schwarzman offers lessons on negotiation and deal-making. He shares strategies for achieving favorable outcomes in business negotiations.
Strategic Thinking
The book explores the importance of strategic thinking and long-term planning in business. Schwarzman discusses how he and his team identified opportunities and made strategic investments.
Mentorship and Learning
Schwarzman reflects on the valuable lessons he learned from mentors throughout his career. He emphasizes the importance of continuous learning and personal growth.
Global Perspective
The book discusses the significance of having a global perspective in business. Schwarzman shares his experiences in international markets and the importance of understanding global trends.
Giving Back
Schwarzman discusses his philanthropic efforts and the importance of giving back to the community. He shares insights into his involvement in education and charitable initiatives.
The Blackstone Story
Throughout the book, Schwarzman provides an inside look at the growth and development of The Blackstone Group, from its early days to becoming a global financial powerhouse.
Life Lessons
In addition to business insights, Schwarzman shares personal life lessons and experiences that have shaped his worldview and approach to leadership.

"What It Takes" offers readers a glimpse into the life and career of Stephen A. Schwarzman, a prominent figure in finance and business. The book provides valuable lessons on leadership, entrepreneurship, and the pursuit of excellence, making it a resource for individuals aspiring to achieve success in their own careers and endeavors.