What It takes is a long-awaited book that uses impactful episodes from Stephen Schwarzman's life to show readers how to build, transform, and lead thriving organizations. Schwarzman’s story is an empowering, entertaining, and informative guide for anyone striving for greater personal impact. Whether you are a student, entrepreneur, philanthropist, executive, or simply someone looking for ways to maximize your potential, the same lessons apply. Schwarzman not only offers readers a thoughtful reflection on all his own experiences but in doing so provides a practical blueprint for success.
Praise for What It Takes
“What It Takes is a must-read book, filled with the experiences of one of the great business success stories of the last 30 years—Blackstone. In this book, Steve Schwarzman chronicles his and Blackstone’s journey to the top of global business. The book is filled with fresh insights and personal experiences that everyone—from students to CEOs—will relate to and learn from.”
“The real story of what it takes from a man who could turn dreams into realities.”
“What It Takes is a must-read, inspirational account of how Stephen A. Schwarzman built Blackstone into one of the world’s top global asset management companies and leveraged his resources, know-how, and vision to spearhead bold philanthropic programs and provide trusted advice to a generation of political leaders around the globe.”
— Janet Yellen, Former Chair of the Federal Reserve
“A series of thoughtful reflections derived from the author’s extraordinary life, which has already left its mark on the worlds of finance, politics, and education and made each the better for it. In this brief and insightful volume, Schwarzman has identified several key qualities required for excellence in any field, including a tireless sense of curiosity, a tolerance for risk, and an eye for the humble detail.”
“Stephen Schwarzman has lived the American dream: a self-made icon in his field, turned philanthropist, who has long worked with creativity and vision to deepen relationships between individuals and countries. Steve shares the full measure of his personal journey with us in What It Takes - part memoir, part playbook for success in any field. Humble, candid, funny and real, Steve offers wisdom and the gift of much needed common sense chapter by chapter and experience by experience. A great read!”
“From his start as an entrepreneur working in his family’s linen store in 1950s Philadelphia, Steve Schwarzman has made towering contributions to finance, relations between the U.S. and China, and computing, including a seminal investment in AI research that will help establish the age of intelligence. Steve always takes the long view and then helps move us in the direction that will pay the greatest dividends. This book reveals how he has achieved the rarest kind of leverage in multiple fields.”
“Steve’s life lessons challenge me to think bigger and move even faster. His insights apply to both our work and personal lives, and his leadership has always embodied the principle of doing what is right, even when it is hard. Steve challenges us all to be better leaders, better citizens, better people.”
"In his new book, Steve relives his vast and varied experience at the center of a (thick) slice of US and global financial history. In the process he sets out a number of timeless lessons for business and life. This story literally has what it takes: the anecdotes, the insights and, most of all, the values to guide the next generation of entrepreneurs."
"Steve Schwarzman, whom I consider a rare global business statesman, has a unique ability to connect with others and has developed a very strong network of global leaders and institutions to help advance big ideas. His business and philanthropic efforts will have a long-lasting impact around the world. What It Takes tells the story of lessons he has learned at every stage of life which offers great advice for anyone from the C-suite to the classroom looking to leave their mark."