Lessons on Leadership: experiences from the IE Alumni Forum 2012

Trichet of ECB, Suttle of IIF, Aziz of Pakistan – these names are like near-deities in the pantheon of international finance gods and the IE community was fortunate enough to welcome these guests during the IE Alumni Forum, held on 13-15 September 2012. The IE Alumni Forum is an annual gathering of the IE community where alumni, students, professors and boards get together to share knowledge, ideas and experiences.

Day Two was inaugurated by His Royal Highness Prince Felipe of Spain. Other high profile guests that day were invited to share their perspectives on key global political and economic challenges. Former European Central Bank Governor Jean-Claude Trichet for example shared his view on Europe’s economic outlook and how to improve Eurozone governance.

Perspectives on global challenges at times verged on the technical and esoteric level, but beyond the talk about liquidity injections and bank capitalization, the underlying theme was one that was clear and familiar to us all in the IE community: teamwork and leadership.

Self-determination versus collective sacrifices, harmonization versus fragmentation – these gradients are as relevant in a team context as they are in intergovernmental organizations like the EU. In any group effort, individuals – through an implicit social compact – give up some “sovereignty” over their personal time for the collective good. For students and alumni, the IE experience is characterized by intense group work such as those in our academic sections. Even students who have ever planned leisure or extracurricular activities – like section parties as well as the Football Club tourney, Oktoberfest weekend trip, Social Responsibility Forum, Asia Finance Trek and the Graduation Ball – become mini-decision making bodies.