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Mission-Driven Leadership: My Journey as a Radical Capitalist

SKU: 9780525572794
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In Mission-Driven Leadership, Mark Bertolini, the long-time chairman and CEO of Aetna, the Fortune 500 health insurance company, reveals that genuine leadership is not about dollars and market share but about improving lives and communities.

Mark Bertolini didn't get to the corner office through traditional means. He grew up in a blue-collar neighborhood in Detroit. Early in his career, he was known for his bare-knuckled leadership and hard driving competitiveness that helped him to turnaround several companies. But his ambition came at a cost as he ran roughshod over his colleagues and employees, and spent time away from his family. Two events served as wakeup calls for the hard-charging Bertolini. First his son Eric was diagnosed with incurable cancer, and Bertolini found himself confronting the healthcare industry firsthand, not as an executive, but as the parent of a deathly ill child, determined to save his son's life. And miraculously, after a year in the hospital, often at death's door--Eric was twice given last rites--his son recovered. The second wakeup call was a skiing accident several years later in which Bertolini broke his neck. As his life unraveled in the face of years of chronic pain, therapy, and medication, he realized he had to reinvent himself, emotionally, spiritually, and as a leader--or go under. Mission-Driven Leadership speaks to the lessons Bertolini learned about empathy, about helping employees and Aetna's customers take better care of themselves and each other, about the need to "find the divine in me," and the importance of getting out to meet with employees and customers face-to-face in town halls to truly discover their needs and better serve them.


MARK BERTOLINI has been the chairman and CEO of Aetna, a Fortune 50 health insurance company, since 2010. He regularly appears in the national media to talk about high minimum wages, the importance of well-being in our lives, and the importance of universal health care.


"In Mission-Driven Leadership, Mark's courageous inner journey to excavate his deepest truths and convictions about human endeavor, and how capitalism ought to work more inclusively, is a model to be embraced by all who aspire to lead. In fusing his personal and professional lives and beliefs, as he did as Aetna's CEO, Mark set an example to be emulated by anyone choosing to lead in this time when the business of business in no longer just business; rather, the business of business is society."
Dov Seidman, Founder and CEO of LRN and author of How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything

Mark Bertolini's leadership at Aetna has made him one of our most important new role models of success and not just for the business world. His personal story of perseverance, survival, and transformation is inspirational for everyone, and he's translated his experience into lessons on health care, capitalism, community, the power of well-being and the meaning of life. Mission-Driven Leadership is wise, at times harrowing, at other times funny, always riveting and ultimately triumphant."

Arianna Huffington, Founder & CEO of Thrive Global and author of Thrive

Mark Bertolini shares the life and leadership lessons learned in overcoming extraordinary challenges in his personal journey, and how every individual and company can contribute to making the world a healthier and better place for all.
Marc Benioff, Chairman & co-CEO of Salesforce

Mark's book is remarkable because Mark is committed to living a life where his values are integrated into every aspect of it. Mark is describing a life that is whole, unbroken. Certainly there are challenges, but the description of his journey and what he has to offer are not overly idealistic he has learned how to make that integration real, and offers his learning to us.
Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness

Mission-Driven Leadership by Mark Bertolini a uniquely authentic leader who labels himself a Radical Capitalist' is a poignant, stunning story you can't put down. Mark overcame a near-death skiing accident that left him partially paralyzed, yet built Aetna as CEO into a great health care company. He meditates, does yoga, uses social media to communicate and is exceptionally candid in this must-read book that is filled with priceless wisdom.
Bill George, Senior Fellow at Harvard Business School, former Chair & CEO of Medtronic, and author of Discover Your True North