On October 13, 2010, the Center for Leadership, Innovation and Change (CLIC) at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business hosted its College Park launch event with an in-depth presentation by Former Chairman and CEO of BB&T John Allison. The presentation centered around the core values of Allison’s leadership model, “Principled Leadership,” which has been successfully implemented at BB&T and is highly regarded all over the world.
Allison gave a charismatic speech focused on 10 core values that have become the BB&T philosophy. As important as these individual values of reality, reason, independent thinking, productivity, honesty, integrity, justice, pride, self-motivation, and teamwork are to Allison, he stressed that they are all meant to be interdependent and help people create a personal sense of purpose. Allison captivated the room of over 200 MBA students, undergraduate Freshman Fellows, Smith faculty, and BB&T staff with his mission: “To make the world a better place to live.” Allison stressed the power of thinking (“premises drive conclusions”) and the importance of self-interest and how to utilize it (“Everything that is alive must have self-interest or die”). Allison’s speech came down to two key takeaways: “Leadership matters” and “Am I making the world a better place to live?”
Earlier this year, the BB&T Foundation announced a gift of $1.5 million to the Smith School to support business ethics and leadership programs. Awarded over a 10-year period, the gift will fund new curriculum and the BB&T Colloquium on Capitalism, Ethics and Leadership lecture series at CLIC. One of these new courses was announced at the event by the new professors of the course, David Sicilia and David Kirsh. “Capitalism and How it Works,” will be a class based on the evolution of capitalism over the years and how its history has transcended and can be applied to the principles and ideals of today and beyond. BB&T has also provided support for the Smith School Fellows Program, for scholarships, for the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship (BB&T Business Invitational) and is also a partner with regards to the recruitment of Smith School graduates.
CLIC’s next event takes place on December 9 at 8 a.m. at the University of Maryland BioPark in Baltimore, Maryland. Former Chairman and CEO of Southwest Airlines Jim Parker will be speaking about the rise of Southwest during the impossible economic downturn and 9/11, based on taking care of your employees and focusing on customer service.
Anthony Moniello, MBA Candidate 2012, Smith Media Group