One of My Favorite Days


I must admit I am about to start one of my three favorite days of the year tomorrow…want to guess what it is?  Well, it is the first day of my Fall leadership class at Northwestern U’s Kellogg School of Management!!!  (My other favorite days are the first day of Winter quarter classes and the first day of Spring quarter classes!)

 

When Dean Emeritus Don Jacobs called me ten years ago as I was stepping down as Chairman and CEO of Baxter and told me he wanted me to teach at Kellogg, my immediate reaction was, “Dean Jacobs, you don’t mean for me to have a syllabus and grade papers, do you?!”  His reply was, “I think you told me you would do whatever I asked you to do!”  Little did I realize how much I would love teaching.  It did not take me long to figure out that until I can explain something clearly to a group of bright people, I really don’t understand it very well at all. Teaching is a lifelong adventure. In fact, the more I teach, the more clear it becomes to me what it takes to become a true values-based leader.

 

It is hard to express how much I love teaching…..why?  It is truly an honor to teach values-based leadership at Kellogg.  To have the ability to have a small impact on the next generation of leaders in business, government, and not-for-profit organizations is a real calling for me. The interaction with students in the full time, part time, and executive programs in Evanston and Miami is amazing.

 

As much as I truly enjoyed all of my years at Baxter and as passionate as I am about the healthcare field and Mr. Graham’s comment regarding “Aren’t we blessed to do well by doing good?”, teaching at Kellogg tops it!!!! I had a colleague at Baxter who summed it up regarding when you have found your true passion, “Harry, you know you are in the right job when you get speeding tickets on the way to work!”  😉

 

Okay, since I have 81 students much brighter than me getting ready for the first class tomorrow night, I better go for a quick jog, review my notes for week#1, and get to sleep!!!

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