Bruno di Leo: "You Must Have Three Traits: Know What you Want, how to get There and be Committed to Your Goal"

11/05/2012 Barcelona

Bruno di Leo

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.

More than 280 students from 50 different countries made the decision to invest in an MBA during uncertain times and are now heading out into a challenging landscape—a reality commencement speakers addressed during the ceremony.

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 noted that “The rest of life will be the same…but harder.”

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.

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 noted that true happiness is a bi-product of service to others.

Finally, class representative José María García-Soto urged his fellow graduates to “run a silent race together to make the world a better place.”

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