Graduate Business Students Poised to Lead in a Future that is Borderless and Meaningful

May 18, 2012 Barry Salzberg

To Barry Salzberg, today’s graduates are more than newly credentialed master’s students. They are the emissaries of the future.

The Global CEO of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited predicted the future’s challenges as the speaker for the Georgetown McDonough School of Business Master’s of Business Administration, Executive Master of Business Administration, and Executive Master’s in Leadership commencement ceremony Friday, May 18, 2012.
He envisions a future that is global, diverse, and competitive. “As I look out to you, I can say the future has arrived. And, I’m proud to be standing here looking right at it.”
Salzberg, who was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa at the ceremony, believes that the 523 business graduates are among the first generation to openly welcome the future with all of its advances and challenges.
“Businesses know they have to keep changing, searching for those innovations that will disrupt their future. Disruptive change may be forcing the world to adapt in advance to a new reality – a new reality you understand more than anyone else,” he said.
He believes this generation is prepared for the future because it already is borderless in its thinking, hungry for a sense of purpose and meaning, and eager to engage leaders in a candid, two-way dialogue.
He left the students with three goals: to cultivate that borderless mindset to lead in the globalizing world; to help restore trust in business by showing the positive social benefits that business can deliver; and to embrace leadership across generations by learning from those with experience and passing knowledge on to future leaders.
Georgetown McDonough Dean David A. Thomas also shared advice to today’s graduates, drawing reflections on wisdom from his Twitter account. He asked them to take these five tweets with them into the future:
1. If you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem. So choose.
2. Be the difference. Be the change. Be the difference between what is and what you think should be. Make the difference.
3. To transform the world, we must continually transform ourselves.
4. No success at work will make up for failure at home.
5. The secret to wealth (from a Hindu folk tale): There are two goddesses – the goddess of money and material things and the goddess of knowledge and innovation. Seek after the goddess of knowledge, and the goddess of money will get jealous and seek after you.