May 19, 2020

How the University of Missouri is producing the nation’s most promising young business leaders

Cornell Leadership Program
Harry Cornell
University of Missouri
Tomas H. Lucero
2 min
How the University of Missouri is producing the nation’s most promising young business leaders

A great education is a valuable asset to business, especially if an organization wants the best young leaders the nation has to offer. This is the kind of education that business students are getting at the Trulaske College of Business at the University of Missouri. However, there is a crop of that group of students that are getting an edge over their peers, locally and nationally. They are the select few, top business students, admitted into the college’s Cornell Leadership Program (CLP)—which according to the Columbia Daily Tribune recently received an additional $6 million gift from Harry Cornell, a university  alumnus and current chairman emeritus of Leggett & Platt.

According to Mary Beth Marrs, Ph.D., Director of the CLP and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Strategic Initiatives, these elite students acquire skills that allow them to hit the ground running when they enter the workforce.

“Students develop into business leaders through a high-touch three-dimensional experience that includes focused leadership training, high-profile corporate experiences, and international exposure.  Graduates of the CLP differentiate themselves in their ability to ask tough, insightful questions of top leaders in business.  These students have had in-depth discussions with  CEOs on Wall Street, traveled internationally to learn about businesses in South America, and have studied business leaders. This three-dimensional experience positions them well to understand the larger business landscape and contribute to a company in a meaningful way early on in their careers,” stated Marrs by e-mail.

Graduates of the CLP are working at top Wall Street firms, excelling in professional schools and being recognized by leading US business media.

“Graduates are working on Wall Street at firms such as Goldman Sachs, engaging in entrepreneurial ventures by running their own companies, and graduating first in their law school classes.  Kelsey Meyer, an alumna of the program is the co-founder and President of Influence & Co. In the last three years, Influence & Co. grew from two employees to more than 66 and expanded from its headquarters in Columbia to open additional offices in St. Louis, Kansas City and New York.  It is now considered a leader in expertly crafted online content — recognized as Forbes’ 72nd “Most Promising Company in America,” explained Marrs.

With results like this, you can guarantee that the CLP will make excellent use of Cornell’s recent $6M gift to continue educating the nation’s most promising young leaders.

Related Story: Three Reasons You Should Have a Leadership Program

Related Story: 5 Leadership Tips from Chevron CEO John Watson

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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

Kate Birch
5 min
Former CMO for IBM Americas Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl. Maria talks about her new role and her leadership style

Former Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Americas, and an IBM veteran of more than 25 years, Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl.

Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.

With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.

You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?

I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.

We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.

What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?

I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.

The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.

I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.

What does success look like to you?

I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.

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