Linda E. Ginzel on Leadership and Skyscrapers

Linda E. Ginzel, Clinical Professor of Managerial Psychology at University of Chicago Booth School of Business and co-founder of Kids in Danger, gives an address to 2017 Executive MBA graduates entitled, “Skyscrapers and Leadership: Rising Above Load-Bearing Assumptions.”

It’s definitely worth watching the whole thing.

“In the classroom, we speak often about frameworks that allow us to think complexly about business issues across industries, economies, and geographies. When I teach leadership, I emphasize building our own personal frameworks. When we create our own structures and reduce our reliance on externally provided ones, we increase our ability to handle ambiguity. Creating our own frameworks can help us to be wiser, younger, to learn more from our everyday experience and what we learn can better inform our choices. Frameworks can help each of us to create a better future. Just like a skyscraper’s strength comes from its core, the clarity, vision, and support for your own framework must come from your core. Your classroom now is the world outside these hallowed halls, there’s no blueprint for your future.

In architecture, structural integrity is established during the planning phase and built into the foundation. William Le Baron Jenney taught us to build up by building from within. Leaving here, you will need that same kind of structural integrity, build from within, build your frame with strong values, build with unselfishness, with kindness, with curiosity, build with open-mindedness to new ideas, with compassion, with a sense of fairness. Your own inner framework will determine how high you can go.”

Random observation: She has an interesting way of articulating. Slow, deliberate, clear, soft-spoken – like a mother sweetly uplifting her children. I also noticed that her voice would quiver at a few points in the speech. I wonder if she was getting emotional or if that’s just the way she talks.