Last week I had the privilege and pleasure of speaking to a group of 35 mid-level executives enrolled in Fordham Business School’s Accelerated Executive MBA program, which is rated in the top 30 executive MBA programs in the world by The Wall Street Journal.
The two-day course where I spoke, “Turnaround Management” was designed and led by Bill Catucci. In it he shared what he and his management team did to resuscitate a failing company and turn it into an industry leader, a story that is featured in my recent book NOBLE ENTERPRISE: The Commonsense Guide to Uplifting People and Profits.
Bill Catucci, a Fordham student, Karen Jeisi & Dar Gillett
I gave a talk on the “The Noble Enterprise”, and then hung around for the rest of the course to spend time with the students. What a refreshing experience – to get to know and watch in action mid-career, motivated, bright and thoughtful people. Fordham has done a great job of attracting and selecting rising stars.
Dar with Fordham students Maribel and Britton
The students had a real treat, taking a course from a successful CEO who revitalized two companies back to back – one a failing Canadian telecommunications, Unitel (which later was renamed AT&T Canada Long Distance Services) and then Equifax, a financial information company. Karen Jeisi, a participant in the first turnaround, and then a member of its board, also spoke at the course on communication and decision-making.
I saw first hand how much the students appreciated the real world (and successful) experience from which much can be learned about how to restructure a company, how to redirect it, re-energize it, and lead it to new heights of morale and performance. I could see by their attention and their eager participation how much they valued this rare opportunity for junior executives to get inside the head – and the heart – of an inspiring and highly successful CEO.
Dar, Karen and Bill
I was honored not only to address this group of students on the subject of Noble Enterprise, but also by the fact that Fordham provided the students with copies of my Noble Enterprise book.
With all the talk of a business world in which people only care about their own advancement and will do anything to advance it, I found it refreshing to see up-and-coming executives working together with respect and collaboration (part of their grade comes from other students’ assessment of them in their work groups). These rising stars give me, for one, confidence in an emerging business world that will enrich not only bank accounts but also personal lives and human spirit!