Book Review:‘If Harry Potter Ran General Electric’


We’ve heard from everyone else—from Santa Claus and Teddy Roosevelt to Atilla the Hun—so why not the world’s greatest wizard? That’s right, now Harry Potter has gotten into the act.

To be honest, this is a clever and entertaining little book, especially if you are a reader of the Harry Potter books. But don’t worry if you’re not (I am not), the book is still fun and informative and helpful.

From author Tom Morris:

If a mature, grown-up Harry Potter ran General Electric, or any other organization in the worlds of business, government, community affairs, or the non-profit sector, I believe that we’d see a form of leadership grounded in the classic virtues, ethically courageous in its actions and both motivated and directed by love. The results, I suspect, would be magical indeed.

In this book on leadership, Tom Morris points out all the virtues of our friend Harry Potter. He then focuses on the one he considers the most important: Harry’s courage. Morris provides several examples of Harry’s courage as depicted in the Potter books, such as in the very beginning of the series, when we watch Harry walk through a solid wall to get to the right train platform to take him to Hogwarts. That act took not only courage but faith as well. The scene at King’s Cross Station is the first true glance we have of the traits our young hero will exemplify throughout the series.

From Morris’ book, here are Harry Potter’s five steps to courage:

  1. Prepare for the challenge.
  2. Surround yourself with support.
  3. Engage in positive self-talk.
  4. Focus on what’s at stake.
  5. Take appropriate action.

Time and again, Morris shows us how the young wizard pulls himself together, gathers his courage, and moves forward to face—and overcome—the many challenges that beset him.

If you must read a book on leadership, this is the on you’ll get the biggest kick out of. You’ll learn a great deal while enjoying it.

This is also a great book to give to someone just entering the field of business, or any other field, for that matter; it’s a good and informative read. Most importantly, it’s very relatable—proving that there’s a little bit of magic in all of us.

Title: If Harry Potter Ran General Electric: Leadership Wisdom from the World of the Wizards

Author: Tom Morris

Copyright: 2006, Doubleday/Currency

Pages: 272

Price: $9.56