The "PEP" Talk
I recently celebrated Father’s Day by attending the convocation ceremonies at the University of Chicago Graduate Business School as one of my sons received his MBA. The faculty speaker at the ceremony was Steven Neil Kaplan, Neubauer Family Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance. While Dr. Kaplan’s research previously has focused on private equity and entrepreneurial finance, corporate governance and finance and mergers and acquisitions, he most recently studied personality traits of CEO that produced the most significant results for their companies. Previous studies by authors such as Jim Collins (Good to Great and Built to Last) have shown the value of such character traits such as humility, team players, good listeners and the ability of hire the “right” people, in transforming companies. Despite the fact that leaders in Collins’ studies did produce great results in transforming their companies, there are many leaders who have these exact same traits who are unable to achieve similar results. Dr. Kaplan’s research revealed three traits that seemed to be pivotal producing success. These character traits are proactive, efficient and persistent, “PEP.” Dr. Kaplan’s research confirmed that these three characteristics were universal in leaders who were able to make a difference. Dr. Kaplan encouraged the graduates to approach their business careers with “PEP.” As I listened to Dr. Kaplan, I had to agree. In my own personal journey as a dentist ceo, I find that when I am proactive in approaching a challenge, attack it in an efficient manner and follow through to the end, my results are stellar but when I sit back and wait, fail to get to the heart of the matter efficiently or acquiesce to the pressure of those around me, my result are less than adequate. Some of the most remarkable successes as a dentist ceo have been directly related to my level of “PEP.”
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