“Leadership is at the heart of successful companies all around the world…and Ingersoll Rand is no different,” said Ingersoll Rand CEO Mike Lamach as he addressed a large gathering of students at Howard University yesterday.
Lamach spoke to approximately 250 undergraduate and graduate business students as part of the university’s executive lecture series. He shared his experiences and thoughts with students about leadership in uncertain times within the global market place and the speed with which leaders need to act.
“One thing I’ve learned is that tough times and career challenges don’t just build character, they allow you to stretch your leadership skills.”
Following his remarks, Lamach took a wide range of questions from students, covering everything from the role of diversity and sustainability in Ingersoll Rand’s strategy to what makes a good leader at Ingersoll Rand to how the company has handled scenario planning in the current economic climate.
Lamach’s honest remarks based on true personal experience and challenges were met with positive feedback from the attendees. Said one of the attendees via Twitter: “CEO of Ingersoll Rand had a good lecture. Very well spoken and interesting...”
Located in Washington, D.C. and founded in 1867 after the Civil War ended, Howard University has a rich history that spans almost one and a half centuries. Today, Howard University has 12 schools and colleges and 10,500 students engaged in undergraduate, graduate and professional studies including business, law and medicine.
More from Lamach’s speech to Howard University business students:
On building a progressive, diverse and inclusive company: “Given the pace of change in the world, the growth in emerging markets and the increasingly diverse needs and demands of our customers and business partners, it is imperative that we harness the talents and energies of our people by creating an environment that welcomes, supports and leverages their diversity….race, gender, experience and ways of thinking.”
On the importance of lifelong learning: “Lifelong learning requires what I call learning agility – or our ability to learn at the speed of change and apply new learnings is a primary determinant of success in our global knowledge-based economy. Learning, and its application, is the primary basis for all continuous personal or business improvement. And continuous improvement is the life blood for long-term individual and organizational success.”
On what makes a great leader: “Remember to focus on being a
constant learner, a thoughtful teacher and to realize continuous
improvement in all that you do and touch. These things will make you
a great leader…a leader who takes on uncertain and difficult tasks;
a leader who is ready for the global environment; and a leader who
embraces the speed needed to deliver. A leader who is fully charged
and ready to engage.”