Dr. Eveann Lovero’s Commencement Speech
December 19th, 2009
Lewis University, Faculty Address
Good afternoon, members of the Board of Trustees, Brother James, honored guests, faculty, staff, graduates, parents, family and friends.
> For over 20 years, I have had the good fortune and privilege of teaching the capstone course in the MBA program. In my Strategic Management class, we analyze business cases.
> This generally involves the practical application of theoretical models and equations to a company's performance metrics.
> My students are placed in the role of the CEO and are required to generate innovative ideas for the company to pursue. The execution of these plans should create long- term prosperity for the company's stakeholders.
> Generally, most graduate students are concerned with how to get an A in the course, but now that your classes are over--you have bigger fish to fry. You have to be concerned with how to get an A in life.
> Since commencement speeches provide an opportunity to impart practical advice, I'd like to share three mental models that may help you achieve the lofty goal of getting an A in life.
> Three ideas that you can put in your pocket and take with you for the rest of your life.
> *The first model is a score that computes outstanding performance.
> *The second idea is related to a Bernini sculpture @ St. Peter's Basilica in Rome;
> *and the third concept involves advice that my father gave to me.
> Let's begin with the score.
> In class we analyze a company's Z Score, a bankruptcy prediction model. But for the 2009 graduating class, I have developed a Steve Score!
> The Steve Score is based upon the extraordinary performance of Apple’s founder and CEO Steve Jobs
> I truly believe that Steve deserves to be extremely proud of his professional accomplishments and that his track record embodies the core characteristics of this model. Let’s discuss the attributes that contribute to the Steve score.
> Steve is a cancer survivor and recently underwent a liver transplant. Although his health problems are of great concern to the company's shareholders, it doesn’t stop Steve from persevering, which is the one of the five attributes of the Steve Score.
> His company's integrated digital lifestyle strategy has generated robust financial and stock performance. This strategy has allowed Apple to defy the worst economic downturn since the great depression. As consumer spending retrenched, Apple's revenue soared, which demonstrates his ability to effectively prioritize.
> He earned the coveted CEO of the decade award from Fortune Magazine in November. His company has earned Business Week's “Most innovative Company” award 2 years in a row. THis exemplifies his ability to master his craft through practice, the third component of the Steve score.
>Do you realize that if you had purchased 50 shares of Apple stock in 1991 at about $40 a share, you would have experienced 2 stock splits (2000 & 2005) and your $2000 investment would be worth $40000 today. If the CEO is responsible for generating long-term shareholder wealth, than Steve has definitely accomplished his task which demonstrates the fourth component of the Steve Score—patience.
In my graduate course, when we analyze a company's Z score we monitor how effectively the company uses its assets to generate sales, profits and shareholder wealth.
In Steve's case, when he returned to the helm of Apple in 2000, it was on the verge of bankruptcy and had a very low z score.
Yet, Steve is passionate about Apple. He uses his entrepreneurial capital. He leverages his drive, integrity, wisdom and experience, to catapult Apple to one of the most admired brands in the world. He relentlessly introduces new products and services that customers are willing to pay premium prices for. And thus, passion becomes the fifth component of the Steve score.
> In summary, to earn a high Steve Score you must:
1. Prioritize: put first things first and begin with the end in mind
2. Be passionate about what you do: get excited about it, embrace it and nurture it!
3. Persevere: Don't quit until you have completed your journey-be persistent in your purpose.
4. Be patient with yourself. If you make a mistake, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move forward. Consider it a learning opportunity.
5. Practice your craft: repeat and execute until you get it right.
> At the end of your journey, you will earn a high Steve Score that no one can ever take away from you.
The second paradigm that may help you attain an A in
life is epitomized by a famous Bernini sculpture in Rome.
During my most recent trip to Rome with my sons, we
went on a Bernini treasure hunt. This was relatively easy
because the master Baroque sculptor lavished his artistic genius on
> My favorite Bernini treasure is at St. Peter's Basilica. Bernini's breathtaking monument of Pope Alexander VII, was completed in the year 1678 when Bernini was 80 years old.
This sculpture memorializes the Pope's life and depicts the components of the second paradigm.
In the sculpture, The Pope is surrounded by opulent marble allegorical figures that represent:
Truth, Justice, Charity and Prudence.
Think about downloading the image from the Internet when you get home. It makes a great screen saver. The screensaver will remind you to practice these Virtues on a daily basis. This habit should definitely help you get an A in Life!
By the way I suspect Bernini and the Pope would have earned high Steve Scores.
> The last and probably the most effective way to get an A in life, comes from the advice my father gave me.
> Pearls of wisdom that I have often shared with my children.
> If I ever whined or complained about anything, my father
would look at me and say "Keep your head down, keep your
mouth shut and be grateful for what you have"---not bad advice.
This model is especially relevant to me because I know my father got an A in life as well as a high Steve score.
> So in closing, if you want to get an A in life, my practical advice to you is:
1. Use your human capital to earn a high Steve Score.
2. Strive to practice the virtues of Truth, Justice, Charity and Prudence. Use them as your moral compass. Make these virtues the pillars that support your personal code of ethics.
3. Finally, instead of whining or complaining—sometimes you should just
"Keep your head down, keep your mouth shut, and be grateful
for what you have".
> I wish you the best in all your future endeavors
> Happy Holidays and continue to decorate your tree of life with new friends
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Sunday, December 20, 2009
Following is the commencement speech delivered 12/19/2002 by Dr. Lovero to students graduating from Lewis University. It is interesting in that she uses Bernini as a model to achieve success in life.
Posted by Vino Con Vista at 3:07 PM