In 2014, Fortune magazine named Pope Francis the greatest leader in the world. Among the former chemical technician’s many accomplishments, he is credited with increasing charitable contributions dramatically to help impoverished souls. Before saving the Ford Motor Company from bankruptcy, CEO Alan Mulally was an engineer. Maria Klawe, president of Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, is also listed among the most powerful business chiefs on the planet. The computer scientist is currently spearheading an industrious drive to attract more women to the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Charles M. Vance)

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Charles M. Vance)

“Business leaders increasingly need versatile thinking skills to effectively solve problems and make decisions in our fast-changing, seemingly chaotic global marketplace,” said Dr. Charles M. Vance, a professor of business management at Loyola Marymount University (LMU). “A solid educational foundation includes gaining transferable competencies and developing thinking skills in analytic, rational, creative, ethical and emotionally intelligent dimensions.”

What defines a proficient business leader?

“An accomplished business leader is able to envision a beneficial, sustainable future for all stakeholders, and then help others catch that vision and become engaged in successful implementation.”

How is LMU helping to mold future business leaders?

“We are actively working with our students to develop effective networking, mentoring and career management strategies for all stages of their future careers.”

How will a business leader’s role change in coming years?

“By 2022, the role of an effective business leader will be much more focused on leading his or her multicultural and multinational organization, in a balanced way that addresses social, environmental and profitability needs.”

How does one prepare for a sound career in business management?

“I encourage my students to reflect upon the gifts that God has given them and the joy they will have in using the gifts to serve others, and to continually seek intellectual, spiritual, social and physical balance in their lives.”

What is your message to endeavoring business leaders?

“I advise them to continue to learn. They must continue to seek, validate and act upon developmental feedback from multiple sources. They should remain humble and always be motivated to make a positive difference.”

Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to


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