It was more than a decade ago. I walked into the classroom only to be greeted by my name. The class was Mergers and Acquisitions at Rice University. One of the last on the way to my MBA. The professor was Jim Hackett. Only he wasn’t just a professor. He was the CEO and Chairman of Anadarko Petroleum, a Board Member/Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and Board Member of my employer, Fluor Corporation.
He was clearly a busy guy. But somehow, he managed to learn the name of every person in class before they walked in. When each person walked in, he greeted them by name. My classmate, Chris Doyle, was so impressed with his leadership that he lobbied for him to teach the class. And not only did Jim Hackett show up, but so did his key leaders to discuss the ins and outs of the M&A adventure his company was undertaking. His last session capped off with the importance of leadership.
It is not every day that you come across a person that not only takes the time to learn about the people, but also understands the impacts of business on the community. There were so many amazing lessons in business. The ones that lasted the longest, more than a decade now, are the ones about showing up as a leader. How are you leaving a lasting legacy with the people you meet?