300+ people gather for Olin’s popular event '6 executives. 60 ideas. 60 minutes.'

  • February 13, 2024
  • By Jill Young Miller
  • 2 minute read

Where can you hear a lightning round of great advice from six executives in 60 minutes?

At one of Olin’s hottest annual events: “6 executives. 60 ideas. 60 minutes.” This year’s forum, on January 25, drew an in-person and virtual audience of more than 300 people.

The tips included focusing on progress over perfection, trusting your team and always being authentic, among other words of wisdom. Olin Dean Mike Mazzeo welcomed people to the event, which is part of the school’s ongoing Leadership Perspectives series.

A differentiating factor for me is ‘progress over perfection.’

—Vivian Boyd

First up was Vivian Boyd, EMBA 2005. She’s an executive in billing and accounts receivable at the Mayo Clinic.

“I've seen teams spend six months building a perfect plan or doing immaculate analysis, but they've lost six months of movement,” she said.

“A differentiating factor for me is ‘progress over perfection.’ How can we move forward? I'm okay that it's not perfect. What are the key components that we know to be true? And let's take a step and start moving in those directions.”

Other panelists were the following:

Alison Gildehaus, MD, EMBA 2024. She’s the trauma medical director and a critical care surgeon at Mercy Hospital St. Louis.

Gisele Marcus, Olin professor of practice in diversity, equity and inclusion. Marcus spent decades in business leadership in the US and internationally.

Julian Nicks, BSBA 2013, president and CEO of LaunchCode. The nonprofit offers free tech education and job placement opportunities.

Chris Turin, president of Vetta Sports, which offers sports programs for children and adults.

Evan Waldman, EMBA 2009, CEO of Essex Industries, a leading supplier to the aerospace and defense industry.

Gildehaus urged the audience to trust people. “Make this be your default. People are really good. And if you don't trust people, you'll miss out on a lot,” she said. “Those people are there for you to lean on.”

Marcus said: “Be consistent in who you are at all times. Which means you don’t change yourself for your audience. Which means you should be the same person at work, the same person at play, the same person you are as a volunteer in your community. … People want to know what to expect from you.

Leadership Perspectives

Each panelist has 10 minutes to share 10 thoughts that have helped them achieve success in their careers.

About the Author

Jill Young Miller

Jill Young Miller

As research translator for WashU Olin Business School, my job is to highlight professors’ research by “translating” their work into stories. Before coming to Olin, I was a communications specialist at WashU’s Brown School. My background is mostly in newspapers including as a journalist for Missouri Lawyers Media, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Washington Post and the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida.

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