29 May 2019
Bloomberg: Restoring Our Faith in Business and GovernmentTopics:
Photo by Mike Cohen/The New York Times
In his address to HBS graduates at this year’s Class Day, Michael Bloomberg (MBA 1966) spoke about the degeneration of American political culture and the challenge it poses. “Now, the good news is: There is a solution,” he told the crowd, as reported by the Boston Globe. “In fact, I believe that the solution to our political problems is also the solution to our economic problems. And I can sum it up in one word: integrity.”
He offered graduates five ways that they could lead solutions to the current turmoil, including being honest in their work, aligning themselves with companies that are engaged in philanthropy—while not waiting to give back on their own. “I can just tell you after 50-plus years in business and government, people have a lot more respect for those who make a difference in society than they do for people who just make money,” he said. “And the networks that you will make through philanthropy will open up new opportunities for your career.”
Bloomberg also advised graduates not to undervalue their labor force (should they end up in an executive position) and to never self-deal. “Your reputation is everything,” he said. “Don’t sell it or trade it for anything.”
He went on to challenge HBS graduates to lead the way in “(r)estoring the faith that Americans have been losing in our economic and political systems.” “It will be up to you to help lead it—and it starts with renewing, in both business and government, our national sense of integrity,” he said.
Class of MBA 1966, Section F