New Releases

Discover Your True North

August 17, 2015


Bill George has updated his seminal book on Leadership, True North, with new interviews and a revisit to the leaders in the original edition.

Former Medtronic CEO and Harvard Business School professor Bill George addresses the challenges of a new generation of leaders who are younger, more global, and more diverse in what David Gergen calls "his best book," Discover Your True North (Wiley; August 17).

Hailed by The New York Times as "one of the most important books on leadership in years," the original edition of True North was based on the largest in-depth study ever undertaken on how business leaders develop and included first-person interviews with 125 of our best known leaders.

Now in Discover Your True North, George revisits the original interviewees to see how they have fared since and:

  • Explains how corporate scandals and the 2008 financial meltdown have influenced leadership; how leadership failures have changed the public's perception of leaders from heroes to bums; why today's leaders are better than previous generations; how social media has driven transparency.
  • Interviews 47 new leaders representing the new diversity of a very different generation including Alibaba's Jack Ma, the Huffington Post's Arianna Huffington, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, Unilever's Paul Polman, PepsiCo's Indra Nooyi, Merck's Ken Frazier, Soujourners' Jim Wallis, and Zappos' Tony Hsieh, Apple's Tim Cook, Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
  • Revisits the original interviewees to see how they have fared since and examines leaders who lost their way, including former McKinsey CEO Rajat Gupta, former NYSE CEO Dick Grasso, Lance Armstrong, and Lehman Brothers Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard Fuld.

"Today's leaders have to grasp with vastly increased pressures for short-term results and far greater legal and regulatory compliance," writes George, "all of which can pull them off the course of their true north."


Bill George is professor of management practice at Harvard Business School, where he has taught leadership since 2004. He is the author of four best-selling books: 7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis, True North, Finding Your True North, and Authentic Leadership. With co-author Doug Baker he recently published True North Groups.

Mr. George is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Medtronic. He joined Medtronic in 1989 as president and chief operating officer, was chief executive officer from 1991-2001, and board chair from 1996-2002. Earlier in his career, he was a senior executive with Honeywell and Litton Industries and served in the U.S. Department of Defense.

He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2012. He has been named one of "Top 25 Business Leaders of the Past 25 Years" by PBS; "Executive of the Year-2001" by the Academy of Management; and "Director of the Year-2001-02" by the National Association of Corporate Directors. Mr. George has made frequent appearances on television and radio and his articles have appeared in Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, and numerous publications.

Mr. George received his BSIE with high honors from Georgia Tech, his MBA with high distinction from Harvard University, where he was a Baker Scholar, and honorary PhDs from Georgia Tech, Bryant University, and University of St. Thomas. During 2002-03 he was professor at IMD International and Ecole Polytechnique in Lausanne, Switzerland, and executive-in-residence at Yale School of Management.

He and his wife Penny reside in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

For more information about Bill and projects he is working on follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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