May 05, 2010

Harvard Business School Welcomes New Dean – Nitin Nohria

Harvard President Drew Faust’s announcement that Nitin Nohria will become Dean of Harvard Business School is indeed welcome news. President Faust has made a visionary choice in Nohria. He is a transformative leader who has the depth and insight to understand the role of business education in developing global business leaders who recognize that their responsibilities transcend immediate requirements for short-term results.

Nohria is a scholar, a leader, and a remarkable human being who represents the best of Harvard Business School. He has mentored more faculty members, myself included, than anyone can count. His research has centered on critical questions such as what drives human motivation and what shapes leaders and sustained  achievement. 

Nitin and I have taught together for seven years, first in the new required course, Leadership and Corporate Accountability, then in the Seminar for New CEOs, and most recently in the new elective course, Authentic Leadership Development. During our years as colleagues, Professor Nohria has consistently taught students and fellow faculty members the principles and practice of authentic leadership.

American business is emerging from a crisis of leadership.  After a lost decade in which many leaders focused on maximizing short-term shareholder value, the American economy needs to refocus on reestablishing the trust in business as a sector that contributes to the well-being of society.  Nohria will lead the new generation of leadership at the helm of Harvard Business School during a period in which the business world cries out for authentic leaders focused on creating long-term sustainable value. 

Nohria’s remarks upon the announcement are characteristic of his leadership: “With business education at an inflection point, we must strive to equip future leaders with the competence and character to address emerging global business and social challenges.”  He is focused on what matters most: developing authentic leaders who can empower thousands of others to lead.  The world needs innovative leaders who can master the complexities of the global economy. 

Congratulations to Nitin, and the faculty, administration, and classes of future leaders at Harvard Business School who will join with him in transforming business education and leadership to create a better society.