Graduation 2015: the Commencement Speech di Andrea Guerra

July 6, 2015

Some relevant quotations from the Commencement Speech of Andrea Guerra, Strategic Advisor of the Prime Minister.

“The world in which you enter is completely different compared to 5-6 years ago. Not just geographical boundaries have changed, but the boundaries of business and technology are completely different. The geography itself has evolved. Today, Asia and Latin America markets are far more important than Europe. To deal with these countries for business is important to have courage, culture. More than the great specialist of marketing, the great specialist of human resources, there is need of great citizens of the world”. With these words Andrea Guerra opened the Graduation Commencement Speech of Bologna Business School. The current Strategic Advisor of the Prime Minister, former CEO of Luxottica, talked directly to the 376 students who have completed their Master.

“The more boundaries are blurred, the more we will have new competitors, new players that do not necessarily play to your rules – continued Mr. Guerra -. In my last period in Luxottica we were by far the largest player in the industry of sunglasses not only in the United States but throughout the continent. At a certain point, out of nowhere, a new competitor popped out: it was not a new eyewear manufacturer, but Amazon, who played with different mechanisms, rules, and logics. I find all of this fascinating. We are in a time when we should not be afraid. This is a time when there are new opportunities. The key thing is to seize them. To do this you need to have the right people on board, the righteous citizens of the world”.

“When the time arrives to start a new job, there are 4 things that you must have always in mind:

  1. the first job is where you learn how to work. Do not be dazzled by the company name or by the title in your business card. Try to understand how curious is the person who is going to hire you, if he is looking for a specialist or if he wants to bring up a leader;
  2. during the first 12-18 months of work be polite but uncomfortable, be humble, be simple but carry out your ideas, do not give up, do not adapt, do note resemble. The worst thing is to looking for new people, bring them on board thinking that they will bring along with them a different culture and realize that after a few months the have absorbed the worst of the your company culture;
  3. the art of management is to listen. To know how to listen is one of the key elements of your career. Try to understand your people by putting into their shoes, try to interpret the reason why they say a certain thing. Especially, if your career progresses and you have the ability to listen, to feel, to understand, half of your work will be done;
  4. emotions are contagious. Do not be afraid to expose your heart and your emotions. Many will tell you that the more romantic you are, the more beats you will take. It can be true, but you will have many more satisfactions.

And if you can do all these things you will become exactly what companies need. Companies do not need heroes, they need great leaders.”


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