Advice From Faculty to Outgoing ECs

Stay in touch with one (or more) of your faculty members; these oftentimes become amazing points of connection — in both directions — over the long term and a great way to stay engaged with HBS. Dean Nohria

Think about what is important to you and to those whom you care about. Use that input to develop a personal value proposition that drives you to craft a life filled with purpose and meaning. Be intentional about living your value proposition: build competencies, grasp opportunities, and envelop yourself in relationships that empower you to deliver true value to your world and to the people who are important to you.  Google’s mantra, “Don’t be evil,” sets too low a bar for your value proposition. Be good, be kind, be generous, be a role model, be someone upon whom others depend on, be a voice for those who are silenced. Use your life to inspire the next generation, to raise up those beneath you, to make a difference. Leave your legacy in the lives of the people who have been touched and moved by you. Jill Avery

Make humility a habit: Always remember that no matter how much you know, you only know roughly .001% of all things it is possible to know. Michael I. Norton

Never forget that many people and a good dose of luck had a hand in your success. Felix Oberholzer

You will find that the world is a smaller and more malleable place than you could have ever imagined. Never forget how lucky you are to have influence, and never stop using it for good. Ryan Buell

Don’t mistake change for risk. Sometimes by exchanging the well-understood for the less well understood you are increasing opportunity and reducing risk. Royce Yudkoff

Approach your career choices like a designer. Generate lots of options; don’t overinvest emotionally in any one of them at the outset, and use prototypes — short tryouts — to quickly test your hypotheses about fit. Tom Eisenmann

Manage your career like your 401K.  You have your entire career ahead of you.  Take big risks now. Mark Roberge

The soft problems are the hard ones. Many of you will place a high premium on rigorous thinking and structured analysis. Over time you will come to see that the human issues  – motivation, trust, status, fairness recognition, are the ones that drive behavior and outcomes. The things that create value cannot be valued on a spreadsheet.
One path to mediocrity and unhappiness is to try and engineer the major outcomes of your life. Very few important things happen because you have engineered them. Our plans are often designed to avoid struggle and heartbreak. Yet, most meaningful growth comes from facing problems that are bigger than us, from the heartbreak we have tried to engineer out of our lives.  You are more likely to encounter opportunities that are deeply meaningful. If you can be open and curious, eager to experience the good and the bad – staying faithful to the needs of those entrusted to your care. Shikar Ghosh


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