Humana CEO to Graduates: Find Balance, Have Courage, Serve Others
When Bruce Broussard was in his 30s, he was a CFO and a new father. When faced with a difficult situation at work – to choose between a decision he thought was right versus one that would continue to provide him the security of a job that supported his growing family – he resigned from his position, choosing the path he calls “personally inconvenient,” but worth the stress associated with it.
“In life you will be tested,” he told graduates during a May 21 Commencement address at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. “Never compromise your non-negotiables. Have courage. Ask questions. Stand up for what you believe in, even when it is more difficult and it’s the longer and harder path. But, I promise you, there will be more doors that open than close.” [View the video.]
The president and CEO of Humana, one of America’s largest health insurance and managed care companies, also shared the importance of keeping one’s priorities in balance, as well as the value in serving others. He also was awarded an honorary doctorate during the ceremony.
It is easy, he said, to define life success as career success. Early in his life, a personal tragedy make Broussard realize there is more to life than finding career success. After regretting time not spent with family members, he dedicated himself to finding a balance between work, family, friends, religion, exercise, and more.
“We must make the most out of our life,” he said. “The most is not just enjoyment, but to make an impact.”
Broussard also talked about two qualities he has admired in his role models – humility and a willingness to serve.
“If you start from a place of serving others first, you will be more successful,” he said. “Be humble. Be gracious. Serve others. You will get all you want in life if you help enough others get what they want.”
During the ceremony, Georgetown McDonough’s Dean David A. Thomas also shared his thoughts on the last four years with the Class of 2016.
A secret, he said, was that the graduates have not spent the last four years at Georgetown simply certifying their newfound knowledge and experiences. Instead, they have participated in a something more.
“We have been engaged in a process of formation whose tenets are deeply rooted in our Jesuit heritage and the values that animate it,” he said. “Women and men for others. Curae personali, care for the whole person. Finding God or the good in all things and experiences. And the magis, the more.”
He encouraged the graduates to go forth into the world with the understanding that they have an obligation to make it better.
“The magis should remind you that having more than others, whether in time, money, or talent, is not something to shun or be embarrassed by,” he said. “At Georgetown, the magis asks us to do more so that we can do more for the world.”
The graduates also reflected upon their time on the Hilltop.
Mairead Ryan, whose parents and sister also are Georgetown alumni, will be starting a one-year master’s program in digital marketing in Ireland later this year.
“This has basically been my second home since I have been little,” she said. “Coming to the business school was the best choice I have made.”
Daniel Jayson, who will become an analyst at JP Morgan in New York, has had a transformative experience at Georgetown.
“It has been an amazing four years,” he said. “It has meant changing and growing as a person, emotionally and socially. Today is the day where it finally hits you that it’s all coming to its culmination.”