Dr. Gerald Buccino, the namesake for Seton Hall's prestigious Buccino Leadership Institute, paid the students in both the freshman and sophomore cohorts a special last Friday. The students had the privilege of hearing him discuss not only how he succeeded in his personal life, but they were also able to obtain some inspiring life advice to assist them in their future as leaders.
Dr. Buccino worked his way through college and graduated Seton Hall University in 1963. He went on to establish the first turnaround management firm in the 1970s, as many businesses were failing during this time. During that decade, new legislation was passed that gave companies who no longer had the capital to sustain themselves six months to create a plan before getting liquidated. Dr. Buccino recognized that there was a growing need and that he had the skills to help fix this need, as he was very good at repairing and improving various situations in business. Therefore, he established his own firm whose main goal would be going in and helping failing businesses create a plan to get them back on their feet.
In order to help these businesses, Dr. Buccino and his team had to incite change, because clearly the current strategy was not working. That subject was the main focus in Dr. Buccino's speech today: Change Management. Change Management is not only one of the Buccino Leadership Institute's seven pillars, but it is also a crucial part of understanding how to be an effective leader. He explained that not everyone is open to change, and in fact many people resist it. However, if a business does not change their strategy overtime, they are already destined to fail. He likened this idea to an analogy about medicine: it does not always taste good, but it's necessary to make people feel better. The same goes for change: it is not always easy and it may not involve entirely positive aspects all of the time, but it is necessary in order to make a company, hospital, government, etc. better.
When talking about Change Management, Dr. Buccino shared some soft leadership skills that he has learned along the way and feels are not often taught in leadership classes. Due to the fact that people mostly operate in a realm of uncertainty, he explained, it is imperative that all leaders take risks. However, these risks should not be foolish ones. He emphasized the incredible importance of credibility and that being honest with everyone goes a lot farther than one might think. The students must be hard-working, visionary, nimble, alert, and most importantly: passionate. "If you love what you do, you'll never stop," Dr. Buccino shared, explaining that no matter field one goes into, it is of the utmost importance that they love what they do.
Lastly, Dr. Buccino told the students that there is evidence that young people who join programs like the Buccino Leadership Institute are more likely to be successful, though success has a very individual definition. "You are the best Seton Hall has to offer," he emphasized, continuously stating his strong belief in each and every one of the young leaders sitting in the room. When asked what the student's biggest take away from his speech should be, he said that as long as they are confident in themselves, they can achieve anything they want to achieve. Dr. Buccino's inspiring words created a new understanding of the Institute's pillar of change management, and it was a true gift to have him speak to the students. He told everyone in the room to aspire to be like those people they consider role models, and I think it is safe to say that every young leader in the Buccino Leadership Institute sees Dr. Buccino as a large role model in their life.