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What It Takes is a biographical book by Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder of Blackstone, one of the world’s leading investment firms with over $500 billion in assets under management.  Schwarzman is the billionaire philanthropist who founded Schwarzman Scholars, this century’s version of the Rhodes Scholarship, in China.

After starting his finance career with a short stint at U.S. investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, Schwarzman began working at Lehman Brothers, where he ascended to run the mergers and acquisitions practice. He eventually partnered with his mentor and friend Pete Peterson to found Blackstone, vowing to create a new and different kind of financial institution.

Here are my favourite take-aways from reading, What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence by Stephen A. Schwarzman: