How do you sum up your biggest takeaways from business school
in just a few sentences?
This year, the Class of 2015 was challenged to do just that.
After reflecting on their two years at HBS during the Bridges programming, each
student was given a small notecard to jot down their thoughts.
If you were in attendance at the HBS commencement ceremony
this year you would have seen these colorful index cards – filled with
reflections both witty and profound – displayed on the big screen as families
and students took their seats.
So, what did the
Class of 2015 learn here at HBS? Here’s a sampling for your enjoyment.
Culture eats strategy
for lunch; getting the little things right on the people front is huge.
Think about creating value
for your company, not claiming it.
To be a leader, you
must be a member first.
Leave a legacy in
every role you take. Go beyond the defined job responsibilities to impact the
broader team or organization.
Warmth first, then
You must stay vigilant and listen to others…this will keep you alert to
when the problem is you.
History does not
repeat itself, but it does rhyme.
What you choose not to
do is as important as choosing what to do.
Stay connected to the
thoughts, feelings, and ideas of your frontline employees. They are what is
driving the organization.
Don’t be afraid to say
“I don’t know”.
Ask for help. Overcome
your pride. Remain humble.
It’s not about who is
right, it’s about what is right.
everything. Everything is marketing.
What we choose to
spend our time on reflects our priorities. We can only expect to get the
results that our time allocation decisions predict.
Inquiry vs. advocacy.
Never assume that you know everything there is to know.
The failures you will
regret the most are the failures of kindness.
Listen to what the
soft voices in the group have to say.
feedback. You won’t get it when you most need it.
the power of expectations.
Leadership is not
about solving a community’s problems. It’s about helping a community to solve
its own problems.
There’s nothing as
vulnerable as entrenched success.
You have two eyes, two
ears, and one mouth. 4:1 – remember that ratio.
Pioneers get the
arrows in the back. Settlers get the gold.
Where you are going is
more important than how fast you are moving.
Be tough minded and
Always have the
Be a serving leader.
It’s about your team, not you.
Don’t get discouraged
by your setbacks. You have more ability to control your destiny than it may
An office is a
terrible place to view the world from – you need to get out and meet people to
understand your business.