Bruno di Leo: Know What You Want, How to Get There and Be Committed to Your Goal < Back
After covering more than 800 business cases and 500 technical notes since enrolling in IESE’s MBA program, the class of 2012 finally arrived at the finish line of their experience.
This year’s graduating MBA class included 270 students from 50 different countries who decided to invest in an MBA during uncertain times and are now heading out into a challenging landscape. Commencement speakers addressed today’s challenges and encouraged graduates to rise above them.
Keynote speaker Bruno di Leo, Senior Vice President of Sales and Distribution at IBM corporation and proud father of one of this year’s graduates, praised the class of 2012 for their commitment to the program and jokingly noted that, “the rest of life will be the same” as the MBA program, “but harder.”
He encouraged the students, noting that they have proven they are more than ready to embark on “this journey that has only just started.”
Di Leo shared his thoughts, gleaned from over 30 years’ experience, on how graduates can best face the road that lies ahead.
To be a good leader, you must have three traits: know what you want, how to get there and be committed to your goal, he said. You might have worthy goals and a great action plan, he emphasized, but if you aren’t committed, nothing will be achieved in the end.
Most people, according to Di Leo, have the first two of traits, but to excel you need all three. “Computers are binary,” he said, “but life always comes in threes: yes, no, and maybe.”
So the more you cultivate worthy goals, learn how to achieve them, and commit to them, the better suited you will be to meet the standards of leadership and accountability required in today’s tough times, he said.
Professor Ángel José Gómez, president of the University of Navarra, also appealed to IESE’s 47th MBA class to rise above current macroeconomic figures and headlines, stressing the importance of not merely trying to be “good,” but to exercise wisdom. This means being aware of how your decisions affect others, he said.
Dean Jordi Canals encouraged graduates to focus on respecting others and humility. Only respect, he said, “rejects the notion that the business world is a zero-sum game, keeps our ego under control, and makes a persuasive case for the values we stand for.”
And those values will condition your level of happiness in life, said MBA Program Director Prof. Pedro Videla, who cited writer David Foster Wallace in order to emphasize that true happiness is a by-product of service to others and involves the often “unsexy” disciplines of attention, awareness, effort, and sacrifice.
Finally, class representative José María García-Soto urged his fellow graduates to “run a silent race together to make the world a better place.”