Joseph A. Alutto, Interim President who served as the university’s executive vice president and provost for more than five years and dean of Fisher College of Business for 16 years, shared his experience and advice on leadership with our MAcc students.
“There is more to life than work and a career”
Joseph A. Alutto pointed this out at the very beginning of his speech before he talked about other leadership topics. He advised us to find out ‘what really means for you’, either at work or in life. He showed different attitudes towards work and life for different time periods by recalling his journey of work. At the early stage of his career, work was always the priority. However, at this point of time, family overrides work. For us, who are going to start a brand-new career path, may not be able to get a good balance between work and life, but what we can do is to figure out what really mean for ourselves, either career achievement or family relationship, and approach it step by step. We should work toward what we are expecting, not what others are hoping.
This is another interesting concept that Alutto mentioned during the speech. I understand this concept in a few aspects: first, we need to develop a thick skin to face failures and learn from them. Second, we need to develop a thick skin to push changes in the organization. Third, we need to develop a thick skin to deal with complaints among team members and “accept the reality that you will often be the only ‘adult’ in the room”. Alutto mentioned this concept several times through his speech and concluded that “develop a thick skin, know ‘who you are’ and make it your brand”. I consider this is the key to leadership. How you brand yourself affects how you are going to stand out from the crowd.
Alutto highlighted other key insights, including:
“Skill development and performance have greater career value than title, position or compensation.”
“Always surround yourself with people who complement your skills, interests and perspectives but who duplicate your values.”
“Focus on alternative paths to goals and not just on goals themselves.”
“Do what you believe is best.”
Leadership is a process that one’s reputation is built. There are a lot of things we need to learn before reaching the stage of leadership, and there are also many things we can do to step toward it. Go Buckeyes!