BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany students gleaned global perspective on leadership during a series of talks presented as part of the College’s 2010 Fall Convocation activities. Following the September 9 Opening Ceremony, speakers representing diverse backgrounds teamed up to offer their insights on how to succeed on Wall Street — and in life.
“There is no one way to be successful,” remarked Bethany graduate Robert McCann ’80 as he welcomed participants of an afternoon Wall Street Seminar. Chief executive officer of UBS Wealth Management Americas and member of the Group Executive Board UBS AG, McCann encouraged students and other members of the Bethany community to note not only the different paths by which his fellow panelists had achieved success, but also a common thread in their journeys: integrity.
“The time to care about your reputation is before you have one,” stated McCann, who also serves as vice chair and treasurer of Bethany’s Board of Trustees.
The seminar featured a host of established business leaders, including McCann, with backgrounds and experience throughout the world.
Paul Keary, founder of Teneo Strategy Consulting, attributed his accomplishments to strong strategy. He and McCann also noted the importance of understanding different personalities and developing the ability to recognize the unique talents of those in a team.
Kathleen Lynch, chief operating officer of Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research, stressed the necessity of basic principles such as hard work, dedication, loyalty, respect and relationship. She advised students to surround themselves with the right people and stated that confidence played a role in her success.
“Because she knew what she wanted, it made taking some of the risks easier,” McCann commented.
Greg Jordan, Reed Smith global managing partner, 1981 Bethany graduate and chair of the Board of Trustees, credited his success to lessons learned at the College. He urged listeners to show respect to everyone and to take advantage of the top-notch learning opportunities at Bethany. “What you do with it is up to you,” he remarked. Jordan recalled the letters that his professor, the late Dr. Kirkpatrick, wrote on the chalkboard during class at Bethany. NUYOP stood for Never Underestimate Your Own Potential, words Jordan continues to reflect upon.
Michael Donovan, founder of Highlander Capital, spoke of his student days working as a chauffeur and the many unexpected lessons he learned through the experience. When he wore a suit, his employer allowed him to attend meetings that helped teach him the valuable business and relational skills he would need in his future entrepreneurial pursuits.
McCann also took time later in the day to speak with a select group of Bethany students interested in business and economics.
Following the Wall Street Seminar McCann joined Colonel David Sutherland, former Commander of the U.S. Army’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team in Iraq’s Diyala province, for a presentation on Lessons in Leadership.
When asked why he enlisted, Sutherland commented that making a positive difference resonated with him. He spoke of values such as loyalty, discipline, respect and courage — values his parents instilled in him and values he has honored throughout his service.
Sutherland also noted the crucial importance of communication in leadership, detailing an experience he had with a sniper who nearly thwarted a successful mission because he was not informed of what had been accomplished. Consequently, Sutherland helped implement an information campaign for the soldiers.
Sutherland spoke of the unifying effect of leadership and service in times of crisis, commenting specifically on the events of September 11 and Ground Zero. “What took place on those grounds links all of us through a commitment to service,” he stated.
Relating the story of a fellow serviceman who lost both legs but persevered to run in the Army Ten-Miler, Sutherland credited the inner strength and perseverance necessary for leaders to call upon in trying circumstances. “Brave leaders go to uncomfortable places and make difficult decisions,” he concluded.
Lessons in Leadership was the first program offered through the newly established McCann Family Student Investment Fund Lecture Series. The investment fund is the first of its kind in West Virginia and one of only a handful in small colleges across the nation.
Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the oldest college in West Virginia.