MBA Student Perspective: Kalmbach Lecture Series

By: Delaena, MBA Candidate, Class of 2009

On October 16, 2008, I attended the Kalmbach Executive Lecture featuring Dan Hecht ’92.  The Kalmbach Executive Lecture Series brings corporate executives from around the world to the Simon School to discuss current issues and management.

Dan Hecht is the General Manager, North America Pharmaceuticals and Actonel Global Franchise Leader for the Procter and Gamble Company. There are many interesting facts about him, most notably that he joined the Simon School through the 3-2 program from the University of Rochester. He earned his BA from UR in 1991 and his MBA from Simon in 1992 and has been working at Procter and Gamble since then. Another striking fact about Dan is that he founded Simon Volunteers in 1992 and the club has been active since then.

Dk_blog_picI admire Dan’s core beliefs that have shaped both his life and his career as a manager. The first of these is the fundamental belief in the fact that people can and want to develop. He explained that as a manager, whenever he was faced with a non-performing employee, his first move would be to try and figure out what was wrong. He believes that managers should always try to find out the issues affecting employees before resorting to dismissal. He said while it may be easy and convenient to conclude that an employee is just not engaging or enthusiastic enough, labor turnover is costly therefore dismissal on such grounds should always be a last resort.

The other important belief that has been a guiding principle throughout Dan’s career is a constant focus on possibilities rather than limitations. He explained that if you dwell too much on limitations, you will not be able to “think outside the box.” He explained that it’s always helpful to have a positive attitude and focus on the possibilities. That way you get things done more effectively.  Dan Hecht made the most out of his Simon education, and was gracious enough to share his wisdom with the current student body to inspire and motivate Simon’s leaders of tomorrow.

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