Tag: Bauer Leadership Center



“The thing about valuing values,” Stuart Bunderson told EQ, “is that ultimately they will help you navigate uncharted waters as a founder or entrepreneur.” The interview with the media platform that covers the St. Louis startup ecosystem previewed this week’s seminar, “The Value of Values for Founders and Entrepreneurs,” scheduled for Sept. 20, 4-6pm, in Emerson Auditorium, Knight Hall. The event is part of Olin’s Bauer Leadership Center Values and Leadership Series, presented in partnership with Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), and Washington University’s Executive MBA program.

Bunderson is co-director of the Bauer Leadership Center and will present a lecture at the seminar followed by a panel discussion. See the schedule below. Bunderson told EQ:

“Strong values will help define how your company responds to pressure, say it if can’t make payroll, or how it treats its customers, or cares for employees. For many early-stage founders, these ideas may seem too far ahead to think about, but the truth is that if values are not clearly articulated and firmly defended from a venture’s earliest days, founders have little chance of creating companies that embody their most deeply-held values.”

Related blog post.

Register today for “The Value of Values for Founders and Entrepreneurs.” There is no cost to attend, but registration is required.

Forum Format
4:00 p.m.The Value of Values for Founders and Entrepreneurs – Lecture by Stuart Bunderson, George & Carol Bauer Professor of Organizational Ethics & Governance and Co-Director of the Bauer Leadership Center

4:30 – 5:15 p.m. Panel Discussion

Panelists:
Joe Edwards, Owner-Developer, Blueberry Hill
Jennifer Labit, Founder and CEO, Cotton Babies, Executive MBA Alumna
Brian Matthews, Co-Founder and General Partner, Cultivation Capital
Aaron Perlut, Partner, Elasticity
Andrea Simon, Ph.D., Corporate Anthropologist, President, Simon Associates Management Consultants

Moderated by:
Cliff Holekamp, Olin Business School, Academic Director of Entrepreneurship




Business owners trying to keep the lights on likely place “instilling culture” among their lower priorities (that is, if it makes the “priority list” at all). Articulating the values of a company often comes second to growing the business—but largely, that is a false choice. Identifying which values to build your company upon is an integral part of determining the company’s mission, goals, and overall strategy.

An upcoming panel discussion, “The Value of Values for Founders and Entrepreneurs,” explores the challenges businesses face when articulating their values. I asked Stuart Bunderson, George & Carol Bauer Professor of Organizational Ethics & Governance and co-director of the Bauer Leadership Center, and the panel’s moderator, Cliff Holekamp, senior lecturer in entrepreneurship and director of the entrepreneurship platform, to shed light on why crafting values and a strong culture is critical to success.

Why is it important to articulate core values in the early stages of a venture?

Holekamp: While in the early stage, young ventures are evolving and still figuring out who they’re going to be when they grow up. It’s at this formative time when a leader has the most impact on instilling the values that will become part of company culture for years to come. If you aren’t purposeful about the values and culture of your early-stage venture, then you’ll end up with a later-stage venture whose values and culture are accidental.

Bunderson: In the earliest stages of a new business, every decision can set a precedent and become a statement on what the organization values and aspires to become. Those decisions should therefore be made with a clear sense of the values that founders would like their organization to embody.

What challenges do founders face in articulating and instilling these values?

Holekamp: Perhaps the biggest challenge is to remain authentic to yourself and to your business. There are lots of positive values in this world, but as a founder you need to emphasize those that are true to who you are. As a leader, you are influencing your business and its constituents with every unintended word and action. If you choose a company culture that is an honest extension of your own best self, then it will be much easier, and more likely, that your business will be consistently infused with those values.

Bunderson: Pressures to chase funding or make near-term performance goals can lead founders to compromise on values. When founders cling to their core values in spite of those pressures, those values become part of the organization’s fabric.

What role do entrepreneurial values play in family firms that may not be the case in corporate firms?

Bunderson: Family firms may explicitly pursue values that corporations would not, values related to things like promoting the family’s good name and broader impact, providing learning opportunities for family members, or encouraging family members’ self-reliance.

Why should founders prioritize values and culture?

Holekamp: Both employees and customers want to be a part of something that is greater than a mere transaction of money for goods or services. A company that honestly conveys values offers something more than those that don’t.

Bunderson: Founders should prioritize values for two reasons. Core values that are woven into the fabric of the company can be a key source of competitive advantage that is not easily replicated. But perhaps just as importantly, if not more importantly, many founders want to create a company that stands for something besides just profitability.

What do you hope business leaders take away from the upcoming panel discussion?

Holekamp: Entrepreneurs and small business owners have the special opportunity to leverage their own personal values as a strategic advantage in business—a competitive advantage that their corporate rivals should envy. My hope is that more entrepreneurs recognize this, and leverage it to their own business and personal advantage.

Bunderson: A reminder of why values should be top of mind as they work to create a new venture.

Register today for “The Value of Values for Founders and Entrepreneurs.” There is no cost to attend, but registration is required.


About Stuart Bunderson & Cliff Holekamp

Professor Bunderson is the co-director of the Bauer Leadership Center and the George and Carol Bauer Professor of Organizational Ethics and Governance. He is also an honorary professor with the faculty of economics and business at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands. He holds a PhD degree in Strategic Management and Organization from the University of Minnesota and BS and MS degrees from Brigham Young University. His award-winning research on issues of leadership and meaningful work has been published in leading management journals.

 

Cliff Holekamp grew up in Los Angeles and worked as an account executive for IBM in Nashville before coming to Olin, first as a student. After developing the concept in Olin’s entrepreneurship program, he founded a chain of healthcare centers which he later sold to a private equity group. Prof. Holekamp was the founding director of the Entrepreneurship Platform, was the co-founder and architect of the social entrepreneurship programs at Olin and at the Brown School of Social Work, and has launched several new entrepreneurship courses including programs in Hungary and Israel. In addition to teaching, he is a co-founder and general partner at Cultivation Capital, an early stage venture capital firm.


In its inaugural year, The George and Carol Bauer Leadership Center has hosted a number of events in which accomplished leaders have shared their wisdom and experience with our students, faculty, and alumni. One example is our Defining Moments signature course that features exemplary leaders from a range of industries sharing their defining leadership experiences. A common theme was the importance of personal values and ethics in a career and in the success of a company. We are documenting these stories in video vignettes that can be used to inspire students, researchers, and the business community.

The Bauer Leadership Center at Olin Business School develops values-based leaders—leaders who measure their success both by the results they achieve and the values they demonstrate.

We have spent much of this first year reaching out to different people to understand how we can work together with like-minded others to advance our mission. For example, we developed a proposal for a “community of practice” that brings together faculty and administrators engaged in leadership development across the Washington University campus. We are learning best practices from one another and discovering the potential for collaboration on common goals.

SAVE THE DATE: September 20, 2017
“The Value of Values for Founders and Entrepreneurs”
The Bauer Leadership Center is partnering with the Entrepreneurship Organization (EO) and the Executive MBA program to kick off the Values and Leadership forum series.

In the fall, we will unveil an exciting and unique program called “Bauer Fellows” in partnership with Olin’s Center for Experiential Learning. Students leading consulting teams across the globe will be working on their leadership capabilities at the same time they are delivering value to clients. We are currently exploring other ways to build values-centered leadership into Olin courses and programs.

Finally, none of this would be possible without the generous support of George and Carol Bauer. Their vision, example, and energy for our mission have been, and will continue to be, an inspiration. We offer our sincere thanks to the many people and organizations that are working with us—together we can change the way we teach and practice leadership!

For more information or to join our mailing list, contact Marcianne Gagliardi at mgagliardi@wustl.edu or 314-935-2943  Link to website.

 


“There’s a lot of serendipity in terms of how things happen to you,” George Bauer tells Kurt Dirks in an interview for the new Bauer Leadership Center. “Sometimes the impressions you make on people have a serendipitous effect on how things happen to you, ultimately.”

Mr. Bauer shares three important career tips in the short video above. And here we excerpt a story he shared about the role serendipity played in his early career:

“I got a bachelors and master’s degree in engineering here at Washington University in the 1950s. In those days, IBM kept its personal records on punch cards and a number 7 was a bachelors; a 6 was a high school degree; a 7 was bachelor’s degree; an 8 was a master’s degree; and a 9 on the IBM punch card indicated an employee had a PhD. They didn’t make a distinction between a master’s degree in engineering and an MBA.

“So, IBM wanted to get some people with some product experience out of the marketing side of the business into the finance side, get some end user experience into the pricing algorithms for example. And so they were sorting cards in IBM headquarters and low and behold, my card with an 8 punch fell out with every other MBA card with an 8 punch and the listing went to a fellow I knew in Chicago who had hired me in St. Louis.  And my name was the only one he recognized on that list.  And the point I’m making is, sometimes the impressions you make on people have a serendipitous effect on how things happen to you, ultimately.

“So he called me up in Milwaukee where I was the marketing manager in Milwaukee for IBM and he said, “George, how you doing?”  I said, “I’m great.  I’m ahead of quota.  Things couldn’t be better.”  He said, “Well, your name just flipped up on a list I’m looking at.  How would you like to cross-over into finance?”  That was the last thing from my mind at that point. He said, “How’d you like to be a controller in the region?”  I said, “Frank, what does a controller do?”  And he said, “Darn”  (he’s a marketing guy).  He said, “Darned if I know, come on down, we’ll talk about it.”

“So, it’s interesting that it was the best that ever happened to me because I’d had a technical background.  I had a marketing background .  But the thing that I really didn’t have was any substantive financial background.  So I transferred over, learned the planning system, learned the pricing system, learned the accounting system, and it was a dynamite opportunity for me.”

George and Carol Bauer

George and Carol Bauer

George Bauer had a 31-year career with IBM, where he served in a variety of executive positions in marketing, finance, and business systems. Bauer was a group director for Europe, Africa,and the Middle East, and a member of the group in the U.K. that launched IBM in the consulting business. Upon retiring in 1987, Bauer taught at the University of Georgia and then founded the investment banking firm the GPB Group Ltd.

George and Carol Bauer are generous benefactors of Washington University; recent gifts supported the construction of Bauer Hall and the creation of the Bauer Leadership Center at Olin.




How do you provide focus to a 100-year-old company?  Diane Sullivan set out to answer that question in 2011 when she was named CEO of Caleres, a global footwear company with a diverse portfolio of brands.

Diane Sullivan, CEO, President, and Chairman, Caleres

Diane Sullivan, CEO, President, and Chairman, Caleres

Having been named President in 2004 and COO in 2006, Sullivan was already a seasoned executive within the footwear industry. With this experience, she successfully led Caleres (formerly Brown Shoe) through a name – and identity – change that was symbolic of the company’s shift under her leadership.

We were honored to have Diane Sullivan share her leadership experience with the Defining Moments class.

As a kid, Diane grew up “earning it every day,” a mentality that still serves her well.  As CEO, this manifests itself in a leader who does not shy away from hard work and who also has a willingness to ask questions and to listen.

Diane’s curiosity has been vital to Caleres’ sustained success in the fast-paced shoe industry. With the explosive growth of e-commerce, especially mobile purchasing, a dynamic leader who understands how to deliver the product in light of shifting consumer behavior is of paramount importance.

In order to achieve success in this industry, Diane also recognizes the importance of collaboration with all stakeholders. Firmly believing that, it is perhaps not surprising that such a collaborative approach has coincided with Caleres reporting very strong performance across several metrics during her tenure as CEO.

The biggest takeaways I have learned from Diane is valuing teamwork, having curiosity, and growing through adversity can help you be successful.

Guest Blogger: Danny Henry, MBA’17

 


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