6 19 11 Welcoming the Wild Ideas of the Week

6 19 11 Welcoming the Wild Ideas of the Week -...

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Welcoming the Wild Ideas of the Week By ADAM BRYANT Published: June 18, 2011 Sign In to E-Mail   Print   Reprints     This interview with  Amy Gutmann,  president of the  University of Pennsylvania , was conducted  and condensed by  Adam Bryant.      Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania, says it's important to be open to “wild and crazy ideas” because universities are all about ideas — “and if we're not open to them, if I'm not open to them, who is going to be?” Corner Office Every Sunday, Adam Bryant talks with top executives about the challenges of leading and managing. In his new book,  " The Corner Office " (Times Books), he analyzes the broader lessons that emerge from his interviews with more than 70  leaders.  Excerpt » More ‘Corner Office’ Columns » Subscribe to Corner Office via RSS »      Q.  What do you consider some of your most important leadership lessons?     
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A.  The biggest influences on me for leading preceded my ever even thinking of myself as a  leader — particularly my father’s experience leaving Nazi Germany.  Because I would not  even exist if it weren’t for his combination of courage and farsightedness.  He saw what was  coming with Hitler and he took all of his family and left for India.  That took a lot of  courage.  That is always something in the back of my mind.  And my mother was a child of  the Depression and so she triumphed against all odds.    To me, those two things are really important about leadership, to have courage and to be  farsighted in your vision, not to be just reacting to the next small challenge.  It probably  wouldn’t be as important as it now seems to me if that hadn’t been something that gets  repeated over and over in my experience.   Q.   Were you in leadership roles as a teenager?   A.  As a teenager, I loved math.  I loved solving puzzles and I was the captain of the math  team and I did all the leadership things that you would do in a public high school. But my  challenge in high school was also fitting in — it was a fairly homogenous community —  because my father was an immigrant.  The challenge of leadership is precisely the opposite.   It’s not to fit in.  It’s to have combined passion with purpose, and the most inspiring and  successful leaders, I think, don’t fit in.   Q.  So how did you square that over time?    A.  I was the first person in my high school to go to Radcliffe.  But, interestingly, when I got  there I realized that fitting in was no longer conforming.  It was having bold ideas and taking 
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This note was uploaded on 02/22/2012 for the course CSR 309 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Purdue University-West Lafayette.

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6 19 11 Welcoming the Wild Ideas of the Week -...

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