The Edge: How Ten CEOs Learned to Lead–And the Lessons for Us All


By: Michael Useem
2021 | Hardcover
ISBN is 9781541774117 / 1541774116
Publisher: PublicAffairs

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“If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.” —Jim Whittaker, first American to climb Mt. Everest.  A leader’s job—in a radically changing world—is standing on the cliff edge, getting a grip on unfamiliar landscapes, and acquiring the skills for leading the enterprise into new territory. In a world facing the unprecedented challenges of global pandemic and economic distruption, every leader needs to find the edge for leaping across the breach and breaking new ground on the other side. Michael Useem provides rare insight into how ten leaders confronted hard realities. He looked close-in at the lide and work of people such as Bill McNabb of Vanguard, Jeffrey Lurie of the Philadelphia Eagles, Alex Gorsky of Johnson & Johnson, and Tricia Griffith of Progressive Insurance. Useem’s profiles of leaders on the edge provide the inspiration and the guidance we all need for adapting and thriving in an era of massive disruption and continuous transformation.

About the Author:


Michael Useem is William and Jacalyn Egan Professor of Management, faculty director of the Leadership Center and the McNulty Leadership Program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is co-anchor for a weekly program “Leadership in Action” on SiriusXM Radio Channel 132 and co-director of the annual CEO Academy. He lives in Pennsylvania.

Mike Useem, Wharton Professor of Management, joins Wharton Business Daily host Dan Loney to discuss Useem’s new book, The Edge: How Ten CEOs Learned to Lead–And the Lessons for Us All.

The Edge: How Ten CEOs Learned to Lead–And the Lessons for Us All by Michael Useem Reviews:

“Michael Useem stands as one of our seminal leadership observers. Generations of students and executives have been shaped into better leaders through his teaching. He is one of those rare professors who blends academic rigor with practical guidance and who has a gift for bringing ideas to life with vivid analogies from history and adventure. His accumulated years of perspective make him one of the wise men among us.”—Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, How the Mighty Fall, and Turning the Flywheel

“Developing the skills required to grapple with ever escalating demands—whilst simultaneously doubling down on the traditional but still crucial skills of strategic vision and operational excellence—requires going to the very edge of modern practice. In this engaging and eminently practical book, Mike Useem takes us into the intimate stories of an extraordinarily diverse group of business leaders. Moving beyond platitudes and easy generalization, The Edge shows us what post pandemic leadership looks like on the ground for leaders everywhere.”—Rebecca M. Henderson, university professor, Harvard Business School, and author of Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire

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