JPMorgan Chase CEO discusses collaborative leadership
Jeffrey Walker, University Council of Foundations chairman, suggests institution should adopt open dialogue
Students, faculty and Charlottesville residents met Thursday afternoon to hear Jeffrey Walker, the former CEO of JPMorgan Chase and current chairman of the University’s Council of Foundations, discuss collaborative leadership and reflect on the leadership lessons learned from the June ouster and reinstatement of University President Teresa Sullivan.
Batten School Dean Harry Harding moderated the panel, which took place in Garrett Hall. Before the event Harding expressed his confidence in Walker’s abilities as a collaborative leader, bringing in administrators from various organizations who together work toward their own interests.
During his speech, Walker explained the basics of collaborative leadership, noting three key leadership attributes: passion, compassion and wisdom.
“If you only have one or two of these, you’re not going to be as successful,” he said. Walker said the ideal group of collaborative leaders ranged from seven to eight people.
Collaborative leadership could be a useful tool for the University, Walker said. And it could be more easily accomplished at the University than elsewhere.
“If you think U.Va. is bad, you should see Harvard,” Walker said. “They present ideas to each other and sell them. There needs to be open questioning. That’s a new thing.”
But Walker said the Board of Visitors had avoided exactly this kind of open dialogue during the controversy surrounding Sullivan’s forced resignation this summer. “The Sullivan ouster wouldn’t have happened if someone had fallen on the railroad tracks to stop it,” he said.
When asked where collaborative leaders are found, Walker stressed the importance of experience. “You know that saying, that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something?” Walker said. “I look for people who have done that. Some people think that leadership is about being right. But it’s not. Leadership is when people follow you.”