Dr. Siegfried Russwurm: "Leaders Create Leaders"

07/10/2011 Barcelona

Dr. Siegfried Russwurm: "Leaders Create Leaders"

Good business leaders "have the right people in the right places. People who are committed, talented, ethical, curious, bold, loyal and innovative - plus all the other good attributes and qualities you can imagine," Dr. Siegfried Russwurm, member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG, told graduates of IESE's Bi-monthly Global Executive MBA program on Friday.

The 2011 graduating Global Executive MBA class included 27 participants reflecting 14 countries. Aimed at high-potential global managers, the program features intensive modules in Europe, Asia and North America. Seventy percent of the class is international. The average age of the class is 39 and the average years of professional experience is 13.

Also delivering remarks during the ceremony were IESE's Dean Jordi Canals, Prof. Sandra Sieber, academic director of the program, and Class President James Elkus.

As a business school, IESE seeks to serve people, companies and society, helping businesses contribute toward improving life for future generations, Canals said. "Together, let's make this purpose stronger every day and give people around us an additional reason for hope."

Meanwhile, Sieber told the graduates, "You now leave this program with noble intentions and an increased sense of accomplishment. But be aware that you now also carry greater responsibility. Not only with those around you who work and live with you, but also towards society in general."

Elkus described how members of the class had grown together for 18 months in an intensive learning environment: "We should no longer disregard the hard truth that no one is perfect, that in being leaders we more often than not must put the priorities of others first."

In his address, Russwurm stressed that the "the mark of good and strong leadership is to ensure a steady stream of new leaders. The system itself must be self-perpetuating. Sustainable - to use the current beloved term.

"I - even at my extremely tender age - must pave the way for someone to follow. In short, leaders create leaders," said Russworm, who is a member of IESE's International Advisory Board.

Finally, he said, "Live and act according to your values every single day. Discuss them with your teams and peers - and work to make them explicit for everyone within the company, and visible to everyone outside. A leader sets and lives standards - and ensures they are followed."

Today, rule-based leadership has been replaced by value-based leadership, he said. "In the end, responsibility - moral and ethical - must be the basis for every decision we make."