“My life as a leader” — the Executive MBA Impact

On Friday, March 10th, the Executive MBA program welcomed back to campus three accomplished alumni to share their perspectives with current students on lessons learned in the EMBA classroom and leveraged at work and tips for successfully navigating the rigors and challenges of the program.

EMBA alumni panel

René Ancinas (‘09), Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Port Blakely
Katherine Sullivan (‘17), Vice President, Global Product & Technical Support, Autodesk
Guy Hudson (‘13), Chief Executive Officer, Swedish Health Services

Some of the advice offered to current students included discussions on the impact of the EMBA program, how to lead while continuing to rely on others, and how to continue a practice of growth through lifelong learning.

On the EMBA program

  • “How’d the Executive MBA help? It helped in every single facet of everything that I do.”
  • “[The EMBA program] goes so much further than what I had ever imagined it could do and it will do for you. And how you can apply it is just off the charts.”
  • “The relationships that you’re developing now will last you a lifetime.”

On leading while leaning on others

  • “The big takeaway with me after two years of all that rigor, the crux of it ended up being really about people and culture to get things done. You know, technology doesn’t happen by itself, and trees may grow by themselves, but they don’t get to market by themselves.”
  • “Just because you have opportunities in front of you, having those around you and those beside you that can help you be successful. Rely on the people next to you. Rely on your families as much as you rely on yourself. Because you will succeed or fail with each other.”
  • “Two things, one is learn from others, because they have something to teach you.  And the second thing is, those relationships will last.”

On growth and lifelong learning

  • “I know what questions I need to ask them when we’re not maybe performing, or we need to do better.  And I think, when I look back, that was when I had the confidence to really transcend and push myself in a new direction that took a lot of risk.”
  • “Frankly learning how to adapt to working with other people has been critical.  You realize pretty quickly that there’s no possible way you can know everything and do everything. When you’re at the top of the organization, you are totally dependent on everybody else.”
  • “Just because you’ve done one thing in the past, does not define what you can do in the future. Because you’re bringing something to a company that they didn’t have before. Challenge yourself. Challenge your teams.”