End of Week Reflection from Dean Slaughter


April 30, 2021

Dear Students and Colleagues,

This Tuesday, we hosted Chip Bergh, CEO of Levi-Strauss & Co, as our academic year’s final View from the Top guest.  In 2019, Fortune named him one of the world’s greatest leaders.  So, I opened the conversation by asking him what are the qualities that he thinks (and/or that others think) make him a great leader.

I was struck by what Chip did not say in his reply.  He did not list the usual metrics of business success, such as market shares or stock-market returns.  Rather, he listed a set of qualities that together make him a “hungry learner”: humility, empathy, curiosity, decisiveness, and having a purpose.  “I am always learning,” he said, “because I am not perfect, and I will always have gaps.”  What are his tangible learning practices?  “I journal every day,” he immediately replied, grabbing from off camera his journal and opening it to reveal page after page of hand-written reflections. “Every night I do a brain dump. Did I achieve my professional and personal objectives today?” 

There are probably many factors that explain Chip Berg’s success with Levi-Strauss, but being an active lifelong learner is no doubt an important one.  In that spirit, I encourage you to be an active lifelong learner like Chip and many other successful leaders.  Spring-term classes end in three weeks.  The bell lap of this academic year is now upon us.  And, as is always the case, Tuck’s renowned faculty and staff are ready to partner with you to make your learning in this home stretch as meaningful as possible.

What is a topic in one of your spring classes that you are keen to master in a final deliverable?  Which faculty member have you been imagining you could learn a bit more from on a socially distanced (or virtual) walk?  Next week offers an abundance of co-curricular opportunities as well.  For example, the inaugural Dartmouth Energy Conference will be convening campus and world experts for three days of engagement with issues such as how will the world invest to meet both energy demand and climate targets.  And T’21s can join faculty, staff, and classmates in special Tuck Rising GIX conversations and small-group dinners about Israel, China, and South Africa.

TuckStuff has terrific journals for sale.  Occom Pond is just waiting to be strolled around.

Enjoy the weekend.


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