Back to class, new in business

Some days ago, as Class President, I had the honour to address my colleagues in Barcelona at the end of our executive program at IESE. Boosted by the values of this world-class business school and by the appreciation to my fellows after months of intense joint learning, these were my words.

Associate Dean,
Academic Director,
Program Director,
Colleagues of the PMD Munich 2019,
Dear families and friends,

We close half a year of inspiring learning. Even being executive learning, the PMD has the basic components of every education: grow the knowledge, fill the gaps and bring the skills to the next level. In this case also with the uniqueness of an active participation through the legendary case method.

About my fellows, I can say they are smart, excellent, committed and very good professionals. And being this true, the first thing that comes up is that they are good people. In the sense of good human beings. People who knows how to hear others, how to help, how to maintain a good conversation. How to share a drink, how to cook a curry -perhaps not all of us- even how to dance tango -again some better than other-. And that is already a sign of being a good leader. Because the more we grow in the managerial responsibilities, the more extraordinary becomes those ordinary personal traits. During these four modules, it came several times to my mind the scene of The Little Prince from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. In his travel, the Little Prince meets a businessman who was counting millions of stars for thirty years without being able to deliver a logic explanation, because he was too busy with the accounting.  Sometimes with the sophistication of the HOW we forget the purpose of the WHY.

The intense academic plan prepared by our Program Director and excellently lectured by the IESE faculty, gives us knowledge, but much more, it provided us a concentrated kind of management wisdom: be clear in your strategy, do more with less, develop cultural intelligence and of course look to the big numbers. And that wisdom is even multiplied by the diversity of this group: six countries, fully different industries with IT and Chemistry a bit overrepresented and a bunch of powerful personalities; in the whole spectrum from the sunny sales guys to the tough engineers.

In these six months we have learn to appreciate each other. In the classroom, in the team work, during the executive challenges or with some Lego pieces in the hands. And especially in such relaxed moments while chopping lemongrass or sharing a helles bier. Barcelona and Munich are exceptional stages for such a PMD Experience. We want to thank the whole IESE Business School for hosting us and providing such world-class and human-cantered education. My congratulations to all of you my fellows. It has been a privilege to be part of this class. May the Program for Management Development at IESE foster your careers, enable you to create new and better businesses and, above all, remain a permanent inspiration to serve other people.

Thank you very much.