Remembering 60 keys to leadership, performance, and career growth

  • January 9, 2018
  • By Kurt Greenbaum
  • 3 minute read

Leadership. Self care. Hiring learners. Being grateful. These themes threaded throughout the “60 ideas in 60 minutes” presented by alumni of Olin’s Executive MBA program this morning. We live-tweeted the event and tried to capture all 60 ideas from the six executives, who included (and are pictured above in order):

  • Jan Alonzo, EMBA ’09, a member of the board of directors, executive committee member and treasurer for the Association of Corporate Counsel.
  • Eric Benting, EMBA ’10, owner/operator, Chick-fil-A.
  • Gene Dobbs Bradford, EMBA ’08, president and CEO, Jazz St. Louis.
  • Don Halpin, EMBA ’16, healthcare systems and sociotech innovation engineer, Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center.
  • Jennifer Labit, founder and CEO, Cotton Babies (please accept our apologies for the occasional typo in her name as we tweeted too quickly below!).
  • Ken Yamaguchi, executive vice president, chief medical officer, Centene Corporation.

Review the tweets below, but here’s the list of tips.


  1. Begin each day with gratitude.
  2. Top 10 days: Keep a list and revisit it from time to time.
  3. Make a list of things you have accomplished and are the most proud of from last year.
  4. Learn about the problem of harassment and make changes to protect yourself and your business.
  5. Set goals for the year, just for you.
  6. Do the most important thing first each day.
  7. Help others, just because it is the right thing to do.
  8. Stay current and relevant in this quickly changing world.
  9. Work on your network when you don’t need anything.
  10. Be a leader and pass along some of these ideas to your team and others you care about.


  1. Reduce complexity. Focus efforts and efficiencies by getting rid of difficult things.
  2. Employer brand: What is it? Tell stories. Best way to attract talent.
  3. Guerilla recruit. In a tight market, find what you really want. Identify where they are.
  4. Tour of duty. Be realistic about opportunity. What does commitment to work here really mean?
  5. Where do we win? Find when and where you are at your best and dig deep to understand why.
  6. Pour into one more: Find one more person you can grow in 2018.
  7. Not keeping pace: Where or when is business not growing at the same rate as the rest?
  8. Pull multiple levers. Find an idea and ensure all spends and resources support it.
  9. Relationship power in the workplace. Those with strong personal relationships are happier and more productive.
  10. Keep your mind, body, and soul healthy.


  1. When you think you know what you are doing, you are likely on the decline.
  2. Don’t let critics or fans lead you astray.
  3. Practice, practice, practice.
  4. Never compromise your art.
  5. Learn to accept help.
  6. Conflict is hard, but necessary.
  7. Listen
  8. Keep going if you make a mistake.
  9. Have your own voice.
  10. Have fun.


  1. Smile. It’s a force multiplier.
  2. Flatten the sine curve. Don’t let task maintenance get away from you. Pick your No. 1’s.
  3. Tell stories.
  4. Be passionate.
  5. Learn by walking around — at 2 a.m.
  6. Trust but verify (and tell people you are doing this).
  7. Know your boss’s boss’s schedule.
  8. Admin assistants are a force of nature. Work on the key influencers.
  9. Practice everything (and then 37 consecutive miracles happen).
  10. Character is everything.


  1. Build your community.
  2. Avoid perfection paralysis.
  3. Run toward the mountains.
  4. Practice hearing.
  5. Know your people.
  6. Practice different.
  7. Babies at work.
  8. Be the bridge.
  9. Do what you love.
  10. Change everything.


  1. Personal characteristics are more important than personal performance.
  2. Character comes from a balance of warmth and strength.
  3. If you want to understand a person’s character, give them power.
  4. When it comes to adversity, be managers, not victims.
  5. Develop a personal mission statement.
  6. Use mission to inspire people.
  7. Embrace challenges, but be prepared first.
  8. To lead an initiative, socialize a vision.
  9. Constructively challenge people to inspire performance.
  10. Measure a team by passion and loyalty.

About the Author

Kurt Greenbaum

Kurt Greenbaum

As communications director for WashU Olin Business School, my job is to find and share great stories about our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. I've worked for the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management as communications director and as a journalist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sun-Sentinel in South Florida and the Chicago Tribune.

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