Leadership

Reaction to Rupert Murdoch's $5.6 billion takeover of the Dow Jones Co. and The Wall Street Journal is a reminder of how highly businesspeople value the venerable news organization. Some fear that Murdoch will bring tabloid style or political advocacy to the bible of business, but experts at the W. P. Carey School of Business predict that these fears are likely to go unrealized.

The essence of leadership is the ability to make the right decision, and to be able to do that leaders need breadth of experience. Take risks, advises Craig Weatherup, retired chairman and CEO of The Pepsi Bottling Group, and open yourself to new experiences in your personal and professional life. And, understand that failure is a great teacher. Weatherup addressed some 650 W. P. Carey MBA, masters degree and doctoral graduates at the Spring 2007 convocation.

The chair reserved for the president and CEO at Herman Miller, a successful and innovative office furniture maker, must have appeared comfortable when Brian Walker took the helm in 2000, but it soon became a hot seat. After the business furniture industry collapsed in 2001, Walker orchestrated the rebuilding of the company. Now leaner than before, Herman Miller has expanded its global footprint and has refocused on green issues without relinquishing its leadership as a design innovator. The W. P. Carey School of Business honored Walker recently as the Dean's Council of 100 Executive of the Year.

Risk management is the major change that has swept the construction industry in the past decade, according to Robert G. Hunt, chairman and chief executive officer of Hunt Construction Group. In a speech before the W. P. Carey School's Economic Club of Phoenix, Hunt described how a family business that is one of the largest construction firms in the country builds success.

The venture capital industry has honored John Mumford, a founding partner in the Silicon Valley firm of Crosspoint Venture Partners, with its lifetime achievement award. But it was not just his skill in leading the early-stage venture firm to success that earned Mumford this respect; it was also his reputation for maintaining the highest standards of ethics in his dealings. Recently, the W. P. Carey School of Business inducted Mumford (Accountancy, '67) into its Alumni Hall of Fame. That evening Mumford shared a podium with William Huizingh, the now-retired professor who turned Mumford's life around while he was at ASU. Grateful former students, including Mumford, have endowed a teaching award in Huizingh's name. Now Mumford hopes to emulate his mentor by helping young people who are off to a bad start.