Jan 11, 2016

Tuck Spotlight: 10 Questions with Bernardo Barrera Montemayor T’08

Bernardo Barrera Montemayor T'08 is a founding partner in a boutique consulting firm in Monterrey Mexico, Galera Consultants. He previously worked in BCG's Boston Office and Cemex Mexico. He finds time to teach Case Analysis at IPADE's full-time MBA and spend time with his wonderful family of five.

1. What was the exact moment when you first felt like you were a part of Tuck’s community?

I have to say, when I opened my admissions box and saw the Tuck Band CD. It was quirky, and the music was honestly very bad, but I still loved it. I felt like part of a community sharing fun moments that meant a lot to them and very little to everyone else. To me that meant I was in on the family secret.

2. Who had a profound impact on you during your time at Tuck and why?

Although the typical answer will be my friends, I have to give a special mention to Professor Sydney Finkelstein. His research on top management teams and great leaders like Bill Walsh or Lorne Michaels became models of inspiration to me that shape what I try to make of my firm every day—focused on making others better.

3. What’s your favorite Tuck/Dartmouth/Hanover/Upper Valley event and why?

The MBA World Cup! Seeing top schools from all over gather in our lovely Hanover to play in early May and then celebrate with massive amounts of meat at the South American barbecue is among my best memories.

4. Fill in the blank: every visitor to the Upper Valley needs to________.

"Live Free or Die!" Also, I think Queechee, Vermont is a must stop.

5. What’s a challenge that you’re currently working on solving? Or perhaps a world problem you’d like to see solved?

The biggest challenge I am working on is to balance out capitalism. Capitalism is built on the premise that a.) Man is rational and b.) We should make decisions to maximize our own utility. However, behavioral economics has shown that we are irrational and subjective and therefore utility should not only be measured in money. For example, when helping clients define their strategy, it's not just about chasing the money, but also happiness. Finding a system that can replicate this is something that I am iterating on finding.

6. What do you personally feel is the key to good leadership?

I was hooked by Tuck's definition: Enabling others to accomplish great things. The key is to be able to remove yourself from the equation, work on empathy to others, and then try to help them reach their goals on their terms. It's about them! But it's very difficult.

7. Outside of work, what do you like to do for fun?

Barbecue with the family, play with my kids, and suffer the poor results of our local football (soccer) team, Rayados of Monterrey.

8. What would your theme song be?

"Closer" by Jimmy Eat World. I interpret the constant search for perfection, but which will never end.

9. What’s the best piece of advice you can offer on getting ahead? Or, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Get ahead on your terms, not everybody else's. Work to separate what really matters, and I'll tell you this—it's not money. Money should be a consequence, not an objective. If you chase the money, you'll never find it—it'll never be enough.

10. What is one thing that people would be most surprised to learn about you?

I am a frustrated artist, with accolades that include a first prize amateur night impersonating NSYNC, youth music videos with a clown in a local TV show, and expert-level drum playing in PS3's Rock Band.