I got an email from Barry Posner, dean of Santa Clara’s Business School, a few days ago that both surprised and delighted me… he invited me to join their Board. I get to give back to my community AND be an advocate for a school that really matters to me. How cool is that?
The very act of joining the board has got me reflecting how important that school and one professor in particular is to my current leadership and approach to work.
Around the very last part of my MBA program, I got fired by the company that I was working for. Don’t worry; I earned it. I got divorced the same week. Not a good week. But then I started anew. And I started to think about the next thing. What would shape it? What would matter? What did I need to know to be a better leader, a better strategist, a better individual contributor?
And as I often do on new things, I started to study the topic. I studied many, many things to inform this new approach. I was fortunate to be completing my graduate work at Santa Clara University and so had access to some of the best professors on innovation, strategy, change management, and leadership. One course in particular helped me find my bearings: Spirituality and Business. I took it to balance other “hard courses” and figured it would be a cakewalk. It was not. It required some deep thinking. This coursework focused on the emotional maturity of leaders and the role that plays in organizations’ success. From this coursework and related teachings, other reflective study, and my own experience of working with and watching leaders, I started to understand for myself what the set of choices are that shape great leaders from good ones. These are the choices that help any of us to decide who we want to be in business: the choices that shape how we work, the way we contribute, and what really matters as leaders.
Thank you, Santa Clara U, for caring more about the quality of the person and not just the analytic prowess of your MBA graduates. I’m psyched to be a part of your community.