McDonough School of Business alumna Ann Gillin Lefever, from Barclays Capital, addressed the challenges of working in the financ

January 14, 2009

National Journal Group President Suzanne Clark returned to her alma mater on January 13 to headline the first Georgetown University McDonough School of Business Leaders Breakfast of the spring semester. Clark shared essentials of effective leadership with students and faculty in her informal, hour-long talk. In addition to discussing experiences in her current job, Clark also cited examples from her decade-long roles as the chief operating officer and executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where she had the opportunity to work with and learn from a host of political and business luminaries.

According to Clark, effective leadership is founded on hard work. "There is no secret formula to success," she said. "Basically, you have to outwork people and motivate them to do well by your example. You also have to keep on top of all the issues related to your industry, which is a very time-consuming process," she explained. Clark also highlighted the importance of communication skills, speedy decision-making, the ability to respond quickly and with compassion, and being respected. "A good leader also is someone with vision," she said.

Clark urged students to look beyond the business school curriculum and develop their emotional quotient (EQ) in concert with their more tangible skills. "Once you reach a certain point, skills in finance and marketing are a given. It's your emotional intelligence that will set you apart."

After laying out her essentials of leadership, Clark described her career path and gave the students tips on networking and how to find mentors.

The McDonough School of Business Leaders Breakfast Series, held throughout the semester, provides students with the opportunity to learn from leading business practitioners from both the private and public sectors.